Social Structuring of Bodily Capital and Bodily Labour among Professional Fighters, Credibility of Virtual Ethnography – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Social Structuring of Bodily Capital and Bodily Labour among Professional Fighters, Credibility of Virtual Ethnography” is a controversial example of a literature review on social science. In recent years, numerous sporting activities have emerged as money minting activities and multi-billion dollar industry (McLeish, 2010). Most of these sports require the athlete to use the whole or part of his or her body as the capital, equipment, and raw material for production. This consequently translates to the fact that these athletes have to keep in shape their tool of trade which is their body (Yiannakis and Melnick, 2001, p.

415). In the quest of shaping up, they undergo strenuous exercise with the hope of breakthrough one day. One of the groups of an athlete who undergo this kind of process are the boxers better known as the pugilists (Wacquant, 1995, p. 66). Wacquant (1995, p. 65) examines the social structuring of bodily capital and bodily labor among professional fighters in Chicago. This paper examines and critiques an ethnographic research article titled pugs at work: bodily capital and bodily labor among professional boxers which addresses the research gap on how specific social worlds invest shape and deploy human bodies.

To achieve this mission, the paper engages the critical analysis approach by looking at the research problem, objectives, the methodology used, and recommendations provided by the study. The problem that is addressed in this ResearchWacquant (1995, p. 65) notes that there are limited studies in the field of sociology in relation to the attempt at the understanding of the body and its commodification in society. The absence of in-depth research work in this subject acts as the impetus and justification for the researcher to conduct this research.

Normally, in any given research work, one of the justifications that a researcher has is to fill a certain gap in that field (Academic Writer, 2000). To address the above research gap of people using their bodies as capital, the researcher adopted the ethnographic approach in his research design. The research examines and exposes numerous trends in the boxing field as they use their body as capital and labor. Wacquant (1995) notes how the boxers use their body as capital, the works outs they undergo, their fears, and illusions. Research Perspective/ Approach Taken To Address the ProblemThe research design that the researcher used is ethnography.

In this approach, the researcher became a participant observer for four years with the population under study. Most of the data captured are qualitative. Merten (1998, p. 14) notes that ethnography is the observation of a certain phenomenon in its natural setting over a period of time. The underlying strength of this approach is in its ability to create close working relations and good rapport between the researcher and the respondent.

This subsequently translates to the fact that the data captured and information presented are wholly from the respondent (Merten, 1998, p. 13; Hammersley and Atkinson, 1995, p. 3). Spatially, the research is conducted in the metropolis of Chicago in America while the social setting is within the black ghetto of the south side of Chicago. This research was conducted over a period of four years (Wacquant, 1995, p. 65). To address the research gap of social structuring of bodily capital and bodily labor among the professional fighters who are socialized to adore physical force and prowess, he relied on participant observation as the data collection method.

According to Kumar (2008, p. 8), this approach can be termed qualitative or motivational as it seeks to investigate the reason for human behavior. In this approach, he utilized his field notes, personal experience as a result of apprentice boxer who learned on the site and in-depth interviews with fifty professional boxers, over 36 coaches, managers, and integral support staffs like ‘ cutmen, ’ referees and matchmakers.

Moreover, he used secondary sources such as specialized publications, reports from boxing press, and autobiographies of champions and renowned trainers (Wacquant, 1995, p. 65 and 66).

References

Academic Writer, 2000. Research gaps. Retrieved 29 April 2012, from: http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/academicwriter/Evidence/Secondary%20Sources/researchgaps.ht m

Chambers, R. 1985. Rural development: putting the last first. London: Longman.

Fetterman, D. M. 2010. Ethnography step-by-step. London: Sage Publications.

Hammersley, M., and Atkinson, P. 1995. ‘Chapter 1: What is Ethnography?’ in Ethnography: principles in practice. London: Routledge.

Hine, C. 2000. Virtual ethnography. London: Sage Publications.

Kumar, C. R. 2008. Research methodology. New Delhi: S.B. Nangia

McLeish, E. 2010. Sports industry. New York: Rosen Publishers

Mertens, D. M. 1998. Research Methods in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches. London: Sage Publications.

Wacquant, L. 1995. Pugs at work: bodily capital and bodily labor among professional boxers. Body & Society 1(1), 65-93.

Yiannakis, A, and Melnick, M. J. Eds. 2001. Contemporary issues in sociology of sports.Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Inc.

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