Boxing culture and serious leisure among North-American youth: An embodied ethnography

Nuno F. Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, I discuss how I followed in the footsteps of Loïc Wacquant (2004) and took a closer and personal look at boxing as a leisure activity, from the point of view of those who participate in it, using embodied ethnography as the means of research. I was curious as to how and/or if leisure theory relates and applies to boxing, given the latter’s peculiar characteristics, which seem to equate it more with “work” than with “leisure.” I sought to answer a basic question, "Why do you box?" within these theoretical and methodological frameworks, and discovered that, while Robert Stebbins' casual/serious leisure dichotomy applied to boxing, the reality was far more complex than I had anticipated. The ethos of boxing did not fit neatly into any theoretical classifications, and the participant nature of the research allowed for a more nuanced analysis of boxing culture, with surprising results. Implications for leisure theory and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1622-1636
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 16 2017


  • Behavior
  • Boxing
  • Casual Leisure
  • Culture
  • Embodied Ethnography
  • Serious Leisure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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