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Memo 10 - Sarah Drumm Contemporary Sociological Theories...

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Sarah Drumm Contemporary Sociological Theories Thursday, November 15, 2007 Memo 10 Wacquant in talking about the boxer’s habitus integrates Bourdieu’s ideas about habitus and field. Wacquant describes Bourdieu’s habitus as a “system of durable, transposable dispositions to perceive, appreciate, and act (Wacquant, p.253.)” During his three year ethnographic and participatory study of an inner city Chicago Boxing gym, Wacquant observed a pugilistic habitus unique to that boxing gym. It was an area where the habitus of the street did not interfere. There were set rules and expectations, specific to the boxing gym, which were to be followed at all times if one was to be an accepted member of the gym’s community. The gym served as a durable, structured environment in which the worries of the street could be left behind and one could concentrate on the art of boxing. A boxer needs both mental and physical discipline to succeed. One must be willing to devote ample amounts of time to running, hitting the bag, shadow boxing, and technique, before even stepping in the ring for a sparring match. According to Wacquant an attrition rate over 90% is common for a boxing gym. The workout of a boxer is simply too demanding for most.
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