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Mana

Print version ISSN 0104-9313

Abstract

WACQUANT, Loïc. Putas, escravos e garanhões: linguagens de exploração e de acomodação entre boxeadores profissionais. Mana [online]. 2000, vol.6, n.2, pp. 127-146. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132000000200005.

This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in a boxing gym located in Chicago's black ghetto. It aims at explaining how prizefighters perceive and express the fact of being live commodities, and how they manage to reconcile themselves to ruthless exploitation in ways that enable them to maintain a sense of personal integrity and moral purpose. The boxer's experience of bodily exploitation is expressed in three related idioms, those of prostitution, slavery, and animal husbandry. All three tropes simultaneously enounce the immoral marketing of bodies. But this is neutralized by the belief in the normalcy of exploitation, in the "agency" of corporeal entrepreneurship, and in the possibility of individual exceptionalism. This belief, inscribed in the bodily dispositions of the fighter, helps to produce the collective misrecognition whereby boxers collude in their own commercialization.

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