On white-collar boxing and social class

Wright, E.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-1774-4191, 2019. On white-collar boxing and social class. The Sociological Review. ISSN 0038-0261

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Abstract

This article is based on the first sociological research of white-collar boxing in the UK. Grounded in an ethnography of a boxing gym in the Midlands, the article argues that the term ‘white-collar boxing’ in this context is immediately misleading, and entails the term being used in a way with which sociologists are unaccustomed. Whereas white-collar boxing originated in the context of post-industrial New York City as a pastime only for the extremely wealthy, the situation in the UK is different. Participants actively reject this understanding of white-collar boxing. The term white-collar boxing does not signify the social class of participants, but refers to their novice status. Given that boxing is an example through which Bourdieu’s theory of distinction is discussed, and that white-collar boxing is a distinctly late-modern version of the sport containing an erroneous class signifier, this version of the sport is a site through which such discussions of consumption can be furthered. Whilst consumed by actors in various class positions, a logic of distinction is present in white-collar boxing, which becomes recognisable through analysis of the ‘plurality of consumption experiences’. This is proffered as a concept which can aid in the analysis of consumption beyond white-collar boxing.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: The Sociological Review
Creators: Wright, E.J.
Publisher: SAGE Publications in association with Sociological Review Publication Limited
Date: 7 February 2019
ISSN: 0038-0261
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/0038026119829762DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 20 Mar 2019 14:34
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 14:34
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/36100

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