Waikato Journal of Education

Abstract

The body is a symbol of status, a system of social markings and a site of distinctions. Drawing on documentary and visual sources, combined with participant observations, this article explores the body as a signifier through an examination of numerous cultural practices used by snowboarders to distinguish themselves from nonsnowboarders and each other. In examining embodied  snowboarders I firstly analyse their cultural tastes and styles of dress, language and bodily deportment. Secondly, I consider how boarders earn symbolic capital through demonstrations of commitment, physical prowess and risk taking. This analysis implicitly views the body as a social phenomenon, that is, it conceptualises the body as a possessor of power, a form of status, a bearer of symbolic value and a form of physical capital. The body now plays a central role in producing and reproducing social groups and the 'embodied boarder' is an important case study for understanding how contemporary youth both construct and make sense of their worlds.
https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v10i1.339
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