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  • The Triviality of Martial Arts Studies

    Paul Bowman

    Chapter from the book: Bowman, P. 2019. Deconstructing Martial Arts.

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    This chapter engages with the question of whether martial arts and the emergent field of martial arts studies should really be regarded as trivial. In doing so, it explores possible rationales and raisons d’être of the field in terms of a reflection on the legitimation of academic subjects, especially those closest to martial arts studies and from which martial arts studies can be seen to have emerged. It argues that the designation of martial arts as trivial reflects a specific Western popular cultural history with connections to orientalism. This evinces not only specific cultural values but also the complex economy of forces that structure cultural outlooks and interpretations. Specifically, the chapter considers representations and strategies by which martial arts ideas and images have become trivial in Western popular culture. In so doing, the chapter further illustrates the value of deconstruction as an analytical approach to culture and its practices.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Bowman, P. 2019. The Triviality of Martial Arts Studies. In: Bowman, P, Deconstructing Martial Arts. Cardiff: Cardiff University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18573/book1.b

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    Published on June 24, 2019