1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

"Men and Balls: Enactions and Recognition through the Basque Sport of Pelota"

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  • Reception follows in Brooks Hall Commons 

Sports are civilizing practices of the modern era, social dramas which sublimate conflicts inherent to the constitution of Western societies, powerful rituals which obviate the basic inequalities which make possible their reproduction, and performances which shape bodies and convey aesthetics and moral values. One of the main modern values fostered by sports is fraternity, a universalized virtue which hides its own conditions of possibility and fundamental roots: male hegemony and sexual segregation. Starting from these assumptions, I argue for a new theoretical approach to study the connections between masculine solidarity and social recognition, in which I think sports play a significant role. Based on my ethnography of the Basque sport of pelota and research results from my last film, ‘Pelota II’, I will try to put together some ideas about the way men (are encouraged to) recognize themselves through ‘things’ and in what sense this can be related to the unequal access to social recognition between sexes. In order to put these ideas together, I will use proposals from feminism, material semiotics and the enactive paradigm in cognitive sciences. 

Event Date: 
Friday, 18 March 2016 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Olatz González-Abrisketa
Speaker Title: 
Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)