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The Wrestler's BodyIdentity and Ideology in North India$
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Joseph Alter

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076976

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076976.001.0001

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The Discipline of the Wrestler's Body

The Discipline of the Wrestler's Body

(p.90) Chapter 5 The Discipline of the Wrestler's Body
The Wrestler's Body

Joseph S. Alter

University of California Press

This chapter outlines in detail the regimens of exercise, diet, and self-control that structure the wrestler's body. Careful attention is given to the precise mechanics of physical training that develop and shape the individual body in terms of somatic ideals, and the chapter considers the nature of the relationship of the individual body to these ideals. The notion of a fit and healthy body being an ideological construct is a fairly common theme in discourses of nationalism and power, but while the equation is simple to state, the problem is, in fact, more complex. As soon as a healthy body is made to shoulder the burden of certain ideals, it also becomes subjected to a microphysics of domination and control. Exercise and health regimens dominate and control individual bodies in the same instance that they create an illusion of self-motivated physical liberation.

Keywords:   regimens, exercise, diet, self-control, training, body, nationalism, power, illusion, liberation

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