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Looks at southern Chinese martial arts traditions and how they have become important to local identity and narratives of resistance. This book explores the social history of southern Chinese martial arts and their contemporary importance to local identity and narratives of resistance. Hong Kong’s Bruce Lee ushered the Chinese martial arts onto an international stage in the 1970s. Lee’s teacher, Ip Man, master of Wing Chun Kung Fu, has recently emerged as a highly visible symbol of southern Chinese identity and pride. Benjamin N. Judkins and Jon Nielson examine the emergence of Wing Chun to reveal how this body of social practices developed and why individuals continue to turn to the martial arts as they navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving environment. After surveying the development of hand combat traditions in Guangdong Province from roughly the start of the nineteenth century until 1949, the authors turn to Wing Chun, noting its development, the changing social attitudes towards this practice over time, and its ultimate emergence as a global art form.
A Sunday Times Book of the Year 'At last, Bruce Lee has the powerful biography he deserves... It will thrill Lee's fans and fascinate the unfamiliar' – Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig 'Meticulously researched' – Jimmy McDonough, author of Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography and Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green 'You won't find a better match for a biographer with his subject than Matthew Polly and Bruce Lee... A definitive biography, told with passion and punch' – Brian Jay Jones, author George Lucas: A Life and Jim Henson: The Biography. More than forty years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at age 32, journalist and author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. It’s also one of the only accounts; incredibly, there has never been an authoritative biography of Lee. Following a decade of research that included conducting more than one hundred interviews with Lee’s family, friends, business associates and even the mistress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon. There are his early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father’s struggles with opium addiction and how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school and eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery. Polly breaks down the myth of Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he was an ambitious actor who was obsessed with martial arts—not a great kung-fu master who just so happened to make a couple of movies. The book offers an honest look at an impressive yet flawed man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played on-screen. Praise for Matthew Polly 'Hypnotic...Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as "human cockfighting" by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.' – New York Times 'Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport's most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport...You won't be disappointed.' – OpposingViews.com 'A delight to read.' – TheFightNerd.com 'Polly's self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.' – ESPN.com 'Smoothly written . . . Polly has a good eye for characters.' – Publishers Weekly
Chinese martial arts is considered by many to symbolise the strength of the Chinese and their pride in their history, and has long been regarded as an important element of Chinese culture and national identity. Politics and Identity in Chinese Martial Arts comprehensively examines the development of Chinese martial arts in the context of history and politics, and highlights its role in nation building and identity construction over the past two centuries. ? This book explores how the development of Chinese martial arts was influenced by the ruling regimes’ political and military policies, as well as the social and economic environment. It also discusses the transformation of Chinese martial arts into its modern form as a competitive sport, a sport for all and a performing art, considering the effect of the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the 20th century and the influence of Western sports. The text concludes by examining the current prominence of Chinese martial arts on a global scale and the bright future of the sport as a unique cultural icon and national symbol of China in an era of globalisation. Politics and Identity in Chinese Martial Arts is important reading for researchers, students and scholars working in the areas of Chinese studies, Chinese history, political science and sports studies. It is also a valuable read for anyone with a special interest in Chinese martial arts.
This edited collection of chapters showcases original and interdisciplinary ethnographic fieldwork in a range of international settings; including studies of underground pub life in North East England; Finnish hotels; and bio-scientific institutions in the Amazonian rainforest. Informed by John Law’s concept of ethnographic “mess,” this book makes a unique, empirically-informed, contribution to an understanding of the social construction of knowledge and the role that ethnography can and does play (Law, 2004). It provides a range of colourful snapshots from the field, showing how different researchers from multiple research environments and disciplines are negotiating the practicalities, and epistemological and ethical implications, of “messy” ethnographic practice as a means of researching “messy” social realities. Law notes that “social…science investigations interfere with the world…things change as a result. The issue, then, is not to seek disengagement but rather with how to engage” (ibid p14). Drawing on their own situated experiences, the book’s contributors address the “messy” implications of this and also explore the (equally messy) issue of why engage. They reflect on the process of undertaking research, and their role in the research process as they negotiate their own position in the field. What is ethnography “for”? What impact should, or do, we have in the field and after we leave the research site? What about unintended consequences? When (if ever) are we “off duty?” What does “informed consent” mean in a constantly shifting, dynamic ethnographic context? Is ethnography by its very nature a form of “action research?” By providing a wide range of situated explorations of “messy ethnographies,” the book presents a unique, hands-on guide to the challenges of negotiating ethnography in practice, which will be of use to all researchers and practitioners who use ethnography as a method.

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