12 Pages


WithWilliam Tantam

Turning to look at amateur football matches permitted a focused discussion on the embodiment and enactment of rules on the field. The habitus emerges as methodologically useful in ethnographic research as it highlights the importance of recognizing how rules and skills are embodied in different ways depending on the background of the individual. The habitus can also be analytically useful for focusing attention on the importance of context to understanding sports and their relationship with wider contexts. Football has been viewed by many in Black River as a path towards greater social and economic freedom. For the colonial authorities, football was seen as a vehicle through which to maintain ‘power’ and ‘character’ among ‘English’ boys. Abstract categories such as generation and class mediate a range of different experiences. Masculine capital and its accumulation are a highly politicized space in popular and academic discussions in Jamaica. The football field is a context in which only particular people can participate.