'The fog soon clears': bodily negotiations, embodied understandings, competent body action and 'brain injuries' in boxing

Matthews, C.R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8561-2863, 2020. 'The fog soon clears': bodily negotiations, embodied understandings, competent body action and 'brain injuries' in boxing. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. ISSN 1012-6902

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Boxing is 'all about bodies'; beautiful bodies, broken bodies, and sometimes brain damaged bodies. And while a lot of research has explored the physiological side of 'punch drunk' syndrome, far less work has attempted to consider how boxers experience brain injuries. Perhaps surprising, considering the sports historical and symbolic ties to concussion and degenerative brain diseases, contemporary socio-cultural explorations of the sport tend to be largely devoid of theoretically nuanced discussions of such phenomena. Within this paper, as a means of partly addressing this issue, I examine the ‘bodily negotiations’ that were part of personal understandings of 'brain injuries'. By considering the manner that such embodied knowhow is shaped by risky notions about the body, I demonstrate how culturally specific competent bodily actions are developed. Such an analysis provides insights into the ways that boxers might symbolically neutralise, pragmatically manage or 'fight through' what they considered to be relatively 'run of the mill' neurological disruption. This helps to demonstrate how their embodied engagement provides the basis by which 'outsider' knowledge, including that provided by medical processionals, might be largely excluded and otherwise diminished.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Review for the Sociology of Sport
Creators: Matthews, C.R.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 25 February 2020
ISSN: 1012-6902
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Apr 2020 07:49
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:07
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39556

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