Donnerstag, 14. Dezember 2017, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Precarious Life

an Ethnographic Investigation of Nameless Filipino Boxers

Tomonori Ishioka (Hokkaido University, Visiting Scholar at the University of Vienna)


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie, Seminarraum Jap 1
Spitalgasse 2, UniversitätsCampus Hof 2, Eingang 2.4, 1090 Wien


Precarious Life; this term neatly represents the everyday reality of many nameless boxers in the Philippines. Professional boxing is a livelihood strategy that eventually leads some of them to Japan where they fight for prize money and glory. Based on ethnographic research I con-ducted in Manila over the past fifteen years, my talk will ex-plore the nexus of poverty, mi-gration and social reproduction as experienced through the lives of these boxers. First I will focus on the migration experience of boxers. While boxing enables many young Filipinos to travel overseas, countless boxers re-main anonymous, because they enter the Japanese boxing ring as ‘underdog opponents’. In a second part, I analyse the nexus of boxing and poverty, as it appears in the daily lives of boxers in Manila. I explore this relationship through the year-long live-in ethnographic fieldwork that I conducted in a boxing camp. Finally I will take a look at the boxers’ life after retirement. From the viewpoint of social reproduction, I will discuss whether their participation in boxing enables social advancement or not.

Tomonori Ishioka is associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Hokkaido University. He has widely published in journals of sociology, social research, physical education, and urban and cultural studies. He is also author of?????????????????????????????????? (2012, Sekai Shis?sha), which won an award from the Japan Sociological Society in 2013.


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/Japanologie und AAJ (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan)


Mag. Angela Kramer
Universität Wien
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie