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Balancing the Berimbau: Embodied Ethnographic Understanding

Stephens, Neil James and Delamont, Sara 2006. Balancing the Berimbau: Embodied Ethnographic Understanding. Qualitative Inquiry 12 (2) , pp. 316-339. 10.1177/1077800405284370

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This article is an unusual reflexive text. It has two authors, two voices, two embodied experiences, and two sociological biographies in dialogue. The empirical focus is capoeira, but the ethnographic experience is common to many cultural forms. Capoeira is the Brazilian dance and martial art, done to the music of the berimbau. Classes are offered in many European countries, as well as in North America. Two sociologists, one a practitioner, the other a sedentary observer, collaborate to study what attracts students outside Brazil to capoeira, how it is taught to non-Brazilians, and how the classes and social events are enacted and understood. The dualities of the collaborative and contrastive engagements are explored in this article, which focuses on how to do fieldwork on an embodied skill. Physical activity, musical apprenticeship, and a multilingual environment are all made problematic in their collaborative reflections.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: capoeira; embodiment; dialogic text; dialogic fieldwork; autobiography
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1077-8004
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49

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