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Boxningssporten i Sverige: en studie i idrottens kulturmiljö
1982 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The sport of boxing in Sweden : a study of the cultural environment of sport (English)
Abstract [en]

The object of this study is to review the sport of boxing as a social and cultural phenomenon, to place Swedish boxing and its development in an ideo-historical context, to examine the significance of boxing for its exponents, to compare boxing with other sport, and to attempt to characterize the specific boxing culture. In a broader sense an attempt is made at a general characterization of the cultural environment of sport in ethnological terms.

The chief sources of the thesis are the records of the Swedish Boxing Association and forty tape-recorded interviews with boxers. Press material, parliamentary papers and systematic personal observation have also been used.

The thesis adopts as its point of departure the, by international standards, unusually intense debate on boxing in Sweden, which led to a prohibition of professional boxing in 1969. The arguments in this debate are thoroughly examined. A survey is then presented of the international history of boxing and of its arrival and establishment in Sweden. A detailed review is made of the varying popularity of boxing in Sweden from 1919 to 1980. The fluctuations of popularity are explained by different factors: American cultural currents, the significance of idols, unemployment, war, pacifist ideas, and changing ambitions and problems in the Swedish society.

The thesis goes on later to discuss the cultural environment of boxing. An examination is made of club, organization, the boxers’ backgrounds, goals and careers, and the importance of sport in their life-cycle. Cultural and socio-psychological explanations are given of the special anchorage of boxing among working class youth and immigrants.

With reference to Erving Goffman, boxing is seen as a sport with a moral message to the public. Competitive boxing acclaims and confirms certain generally appreciated norms: courage, gameness, integrity and composure.

Comparisons between boxing and other sport lead to a recognition of many similarities. Despite certain specific features boxing is seen as a part of the sporting culture. The thesis concludes with an attempt at a characteristic of the cultural environment of sport in a broad sense. It is characterized by an emphasis on physical culture, a rigid international system of rules, an official and an unofficial code system, a culturally specific equipment, a cyclical conception of time, a strong bias towards ranking, and an intense emotional engagement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Nordiska mus. , 1982. , p. 250
Series
Nordiska museets handlingar, ISSN 0346-8585 ; 99
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-174840Libris ID: 7603634ISBN: 917108214X (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-174840DiVA, id: diva2:1360531
Public defence
1982-12-17, Sal A, Norrtullsgatan 2, Stockholm, 10:00
Note

With an English summary

Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-14Bibliographically approved

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