BODY AND SOUL LOIC WACQUANT PDF

He was a student and close collaborator of Pierre Bourdieu. Wacquant has published more than a hundred articles in journals of sociology, anthropology , urban studies , social theory and philosophy. He is also co-founder and editor of the interdisciplinary journal Ethnography as well as a collaborator of Le Monde Diplomatique. His primary research has been conducted in the ghettos of South Chicago , in the Paris banlieue , and in jails of the United States and Brazil.

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It is his account of his three-year experience while a sociology graduate student at the University of Chicago of participating in the Woodlawn Boys and Girls Club, a boxing club for young men who are serious about the sport of boxing on the South Side of Chicago.

Wacquant takes the "participant-observer" method seriously -- he trains for a Chicago Golden Gloves match, while developing intense relationships with the young black men who do their training at the club and the older experts like DeeDee who coach them.

One thing that is interesting about the book is that it brings together two fairly separate subjects of sociological interest -- the social lives of underclass black men, and the "sociology of the body" that focuses on the ways in which skill, dexterity, and persistence interweave with the sport of boxing.

Here is something of the project of understanding marginalized black Chicago through participation: Could I grasp and explain social relations in the black ghetto based on my embeddedness in that particular location?

To work on the bag is to craft a product, as you would on a lathe, with the crude tools that are gloved as weapon, shield, and target. Finding your distance, breathing, feinting with your eyes, your shoulders, your hands, your feet , sliding one step to the side to let the bag swing by, catching it again on the fly with a left hook right to the midsection.

Double it up, to the head, with a short, sharp movement. Follow up with a straight right, taking care to turn the wrist over like a screwdriver in order to align your knuckles horizontally at the precise moment of impact.

Being the only white member in the club First of all, the egalitarian ethos and pronounced color-blindness of pugilistic culture are such that everyone is fully accepted into it so long as he submits to the common discipline and "pays his dues" in the ring.

Next, my French nationality granted me a sort of statutory exteriority with respect to the structures of relations of exploitation, contempt, misunderstanding, and mutual mistrust that oppose blacks and whites in America Finally, my total "surrender" to the exigencies of the field, and especially the fact that I regularly put the gloves on with them, earned me the esteem of my club-mates, as attested by the term of address "brother Louis" and the collection of affectionate nicknames they bestowed upon me over the months: "Busy Louis," my ring moniker, but also "Bad Dude," "The French Bomber," "The French Hammer" Two members of a rival gang shot him on the street not far from here, on the other side of Cottage Grove.

Luckily he saw them coming and took off running, but a bullet pierced his calf. He hobbled behind an abandoned building, pulled out his own gun from his gym bag, and opened fire on his two attackers, forcing them to retreat. I ask DeeDee if they shot him in the leg as a warning. First, the experiences of the three years that Wacquant spent in the Woodlawn Boys and Girls Club clearly helped to develop his own knowledge of the social reality of marginalized Chicago.

There is a world of difference between reading theoretical and empirical studies of urban life, and finding ways of seriously immersing oneself in an urban environment. Wacquant is a better urban sociologist and theorist for the experiences he describes here. Second, it seems clear that some specific insights into daily life in marginalized black neighborhoods in Chicago emerge from this experience. The prevalence of violence on the street, the strategies people arrive at to avoid being victims of violence, the social distance that exists between 63rd Street and Michigan Avenue -- these are all valuable insights that contribute to a better sociological understanding of the city.

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