The culture of boxing: sensation and affect

Woodward, Kath (2011). The culture of boxing: sensation and affect. Sport in History, 31(4) pp. 487–503.



This article uses Oates’s distinction between drama and what is real to explore the culture of boxing and its continuing, if contradictory, appeal through different cultural forms. Boxing poses a cultural dilemma and raises questions about how something so apparently brutal retains its hold on contemporary culture. The material properties of boxing invoke the senses and prioritize corporeal, enfleshed engagement. Oates also applies the notion of authenticity to men’s boxing. Thus the focus of this article is upon the capacities of boxing and its affects and the particularities of the event of boxing which make its dramas real, wherever they are enacted, as well as the forces in play which create particular versions of masculinity which are enmeshed with the affects of boxing.

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