The Patron and the Wrestler

Joseph S. Alter

in The Wrestler's Body

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1992 | ISBN: 9780520076976
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912175 | DOI:
The Patron and the Wrestler

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Patrons are responsible for the public image of their wrestlers. Without patronage, a wrestler can, in the language of structuralism, only signify—his body stands for morality and chastity—but he is powerless and unable to convey the story of his way of life to a larger audience. The patron gives meaning to what a wrestler simply stands for. While what it means to be a wrestler is given public interpretation through patronage, wrestlers are not silent partners to an illegitimate reading of their way of life. In the akhara, and within the world of wrestling, the symbolic components of the body convey a set of standardized meanings on which any wrestler can build and from which he can elaborate and interpret various situations.

Keywords: patrons; public; image; wrestlers; patronage; structuralism; morality; chastity; akhara; wrestling

Chapter.  8834 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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