Style, stamina and mobile masculinities: The reinvention of Savate in the Anglosphere
Taylor & Francis
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The roots of Savate in France stretch back at least 200 years, and there is extensive interdisciplinary research in French showing changing interpretations of its meaning and purpose. Savate is now a globalised combat sports with potential to enter the Olympic Games. To help remedy the lacuna of English-language research, this paper considers: (1) Documentaries and rare instructional literature; (2) online videos and discussions of archival Savate footage; (3) contemporary documentation from the Great Britain Savate Federation; and, (4) ongoing fieldwork in one UK Savate school. Through our multimodal study of printed, televised, digital and physical action, we add to the discussions to the constant reinvention of Savate to a modern, seemingly inclusive combat sport. Using John Urry’s framework of mobilities, we introduce the notion of ‘mobile masculinities’ underpinned by a European sense of relatively elite individualistic cosmopolitanism. Savate provides a rich case study of gender inclusivity in sport – how a previously male-dominated activity incorporates women in positions of power and responsibility and teaches men to acquire elegance in style and elite levels of stamina.
Sport in History;
Jennings, G. & Delamont, S. (2020). Style, stamina and mobile masculinities: The reinvention of Savate in the Anglosphere. Sport in History, 40(3), DOI:10.1080/17460263.2020.1733645
Article published in Sport in History available at https://doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2020.1733645
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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