Leading the left: sociability and the micropolitics of cultural reproduction in grassroots boxe popolare coaching
Taylor and Francis
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This article explores coaching in boxe popolare (people's boxing) – a style of boxing codified by leftist grassroots groups in contemporary Italy. The paper presents a micro-sociological analysis of data collected during a three-year multi-sited participant observation focusing on Patrick (pseudonym), who is the leading coach of a boxe popolare team. It examines the micropolitics of reproduction via the under-researched notion of ‘sociability’. To contextualise this, a Bourdieusian framework, drawing on the concepts of ‘field’, ‘capital’, ‘habitus’, ‘doxa’ and ‘symbolic violence’, is employed. Findings highlight how boxe popolare is infused with far-left militant culture. Patrick uses sociability strategically, (a) to reproduce an embodied ethics of this specific boxing style; (b) to strengthen the collective values inherent within boxe popolare political milieu; (c) to perform the boxe popolare network; and finally, (d) to legitimise his own authority in the coaching structure. In conclusion, we highlight the importance of sociability for understanding micropolitical influence in coaching practice and consider the emergent idea of hybrid field as a way to better explore the interplay between coaching pedagogy, the political field and beyond.
Sport, Education and Society;
Pedrini, L., Brown, D.H. and Aimini, G., 2019. Leading the left: sociability and the micropolitics of cultural reproduction in grassroots boxe popolare coaching', Sport, Education and Society, pp.1-15. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1672147.
Article published in Sport, Education and Society on 04 October 2019, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2019.1672147.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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