Boxing, the Gym, and Men

The Mark of the Fist

  • Jérôme Beauchez

Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. In Private: Where the Blows Resound

  3. Facing the Other: Trials of the Self

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Jérôme Beauchez
      Pages 99-126
    3. Jérôme Beauchez
      Pages 127-150
    4. Jérôme Beauchez
      Pages 151-186
    5. Jérôme Beauchez
      Pages 187-208
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 209-240

About this book


This book explores the lived experiences of boxers in a French banlieue, largely populated by people from working-class and immigrant backgrounds. Jérôme Beauchez, who joined in the men’s daily workouts for many years, analyzes the act of boxing as a high-stakes confrontation that extends well beyond the walls of the gym. Exploring the physical and existential realities of combat, the author provides a multifaceted “thick description” of this world and shows that the violence faced by the gym’s members is not so much to be found in the ring as in the adversity of everyday racism and social exclusion. Boxing can therefore be understood as an act of resistance that is about more than simply fighting an opponent and that reflects all the existential struggles facing these men who are both stigmatized and socially dominated by race and class.


Fighters Immigrant neighborhoods Working class Social revenge Human value Cultural sociology Boxers banlieue social exclusion racism stigma social class class stigma class discrimination inequality

Authors and affiliations

  • Jérôme Beauchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Max WeberUniversité de LyonSaint-EtienneFrance

Bibliographic information