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Open AccessArticle

‘A Very Unstatic Sport’: An Ethnographic Study of British Savate Classes

Freelance Savate teacher, London SE1 8TG, UK; [email protected]
School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2018, 8(4), 122;
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Culture)
The empirical focus of this paper is a martial art, Savate, which has received little scholarly attention from social scientists in the English-speaking world. The disciplinary framework is based on symbolic interactionist approaches to bodies, embodiment and movement. The ethnographic methods employ the research agenda of John Urry as set out in his wider call for a mobile sociology. Here Urry’s research agenda is used as a strategy: a key goal for ethnographic researchers. The utility of Urry’s sociological work on mobilities for scholarship on combat sports is exemplified. Until now that approach has not been widely used in martial arts investigations or sports studies. The data are drawn from an ethnographic study conducted dialogically by an experienced Savate teacher and a sociologist who observes him teaching. Nine ways in which the ethnographic data on Savate classes are illuminated by the mobilities paradigm are explored so that previously unconsidered aspects of this martial art are better understood and the potential of Urry’s ideas for investigating other martial arts and sports is apparent. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnography; mobilities; teaching; mobile methods; Savate; assaut ethnography; mobilities; teaching; mobile methods; Savate; assaut
MDPI and ACS Style

Southwood, J.V.; Delamont, S. ‘A Very Unstatic Sport’: An Ethnographic Study of British Savate Classes. Societies 2018, 8, 122.

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