From rookie to Rocky?: on modernity, identity and white-collar boxing

Wright, Edward John (2018) From rookie to Rocky?: on modernity, identity and white-collar boxing. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is the first sociological examination of white-collar boxing in the UK; a form of the sport particular to late modernity. Given this, the first research question asked is: what is white-collar boxing in this context? Further research questions pertain to social divisions and identity. White-collar boxing originally takes its name from the high social class of its practitioners in the USA, something which is not found in this study. White-collar boxing in and through this research is identified as a practice with a highly misleading title, given that those involved are not primarily from white-collar backgrounds. Rather than signifying the social class of practitioner, white-collar boxing is understood to pertain to a form of the sport in which complete beginners participate in an eight-week boxing course, in order to compete in a publicly-held, full-contact boxing match in a glamorous location in front of a large crowd. It is, thus, a condensed reproduction of the long-term career of the professional boxer, commodified for consumption by others. These courses are understood by those involved to be free in monetary terms, and undertaken to raise money for charity. As is evidenced in this research, neither is straightforwardly the case, and white-collar boxing can, instead, be understood as a philanthrocapitalist arrangement. The study involves ethnographic observation and interviews at a boxing club in the Midlands, as well as public weigh-ins and fight nights, to explore the complex interrelationships amongst class, gender and ethnicity to reveal the negotiation of identity in late modernity.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Jordan, Melanie
Holmwood, John
Keywords: Professional athletes, Boxing matches, Boxing, Social aspects,Economic aspects
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 49218
Depositing User: Wright, Edward
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 08:01

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