The Discipline of the Wrestler's Body

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 Discipline of the Wrestler's Body

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This chapter outlines in detail the regimens of exercise, diet, and self-control that structure the wrestler's body. Careful attention is given to the precise mechanics of physical training that develop and shape the individual body in terms of somatic ideals, and the chapter considers the nature of the relationship of the individual body to these ideals. The notion of a fit and healthy body being an ideological construct is a fairly common theme in discourses of nationalism and power, but while the equation is simple to state, the problem is, in fact, more complex. As soon as a healthy body is made to shoulder the burden of certain ideals, it also becomes subjected to a microphysics of domination and control. Exercise and health regimens dominate and control individual bodies in the same instance that they create an illusion of self-motivated physical liberation.

Keywords: regimens; exercise; diet; self-control; training; body; nationalism; power; illusion; liberation

Chapter.  18384 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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