Lorenzo Domaneschi

Boards don't hit back. Ethnography of the practice of Wushu Kung Fu

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Habitus; Theories of Practice; Enactive Ethnography; Martial Arts Studies; Wushu Kung Fu.

Drawing on the inspiring work by Wacquant about apprenticeship in boxing, I present data collected during a five-year ethnographic study of a Wushu Kung Fu Association in Italy. This article explores the ways in which this martial art is constructed as a «social practice», drawing on theories of social practice in order to investigate in depth the relationship between habitus and materials. This relationship seems to be underestimated both in Wacquant's presentation and in most martial arts studies developed from his work. In conclusion, I point out the importance of recognizing the active role of objects in transforming the habitus and briefly discuss the potentiality of enactive ethnography in analyzing social practices.

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