'Fighting Scholars' brings to the fore the ethnographic study of combat sports and martial arts as a means of exploring embodied human existence. The book's main claim is that such activities represent privileged grounds to access different social dimensions, such as emotion, violence, pain, gender, ethnicity and religion. In order to explore these dimensions, the concept of 'habitus' is presented prominently as an epistemic remedy for the academic distant gaze of the effaced academic body. The different contributions of this volume are aligned within the same project that began to crystallize in Loic Wacquant's 'Body and Soul': the construction of a 'carnal sociology' that constitutes an exploration of the social world 'from' the body.The book is divided into three sections. In the first section, the editors introduce the field, providing a typology of existing literature. The second section contains the contributions of the authors, discussing their respective approaches to embodied ethnography, their use of the concept of 'habitus', and ethnographic findings. The third section contains a conclusion by the editors - reflecting on existing conceptions of 'habitus' and interdisciplinary possibilities for rethinking the concept - and an epilogue by Loc Wacquant critically assessing the whole volume.
Habitus and Ethnographies of Martial Arts and Combat Sports