The Invention of Martial Arts

The Invention of Martial Arts

"The Invention of Martial Arts examines the media history of what we now call 'martial arts' and argues that martial arts is a cultural construction that was born in film, TV and other media. It argues that 'martial arts' exploded into popular consciousness entirely thanks to the work of media. Of course, the book does not deny the existence of real, material histories and non-media dimensions in martial arts practices. But it thoroughly recasts the status of such histories, combining recent myth-busting findings in historical martial arts research with important insights into the discontinuous character of history, the widespread 'invention of tradition', the orientalism and imagined geographies that animate many ideas about history, and the frequent manipulation of history for reasons of status, cultural capital, private or public power, politics, and/or financial gain. In doing so, The Invention of Martial Arts argues for the primacy of media representation as key player in the emergence and spread of martial arts. This argument overturns the dominant belief that 'real practices' are primary, while representations are secondary. The book makes its case via historical analysis of the British media history of such Eastern and Western martial arts as Bartitsu, jujutsu, judo, karate, tai chi and MMA across a range of media, from newspapers, comics and books to cartoon, film and TV series, as well as television adverts and music videos, focusing on key but often overlooked texts such as adverts for 'Hai Karate', the 1970s disco hit 'Kung Fu Fighting', and many other mainstream and marginal media texts"--

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Author
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date
ISBN 0197540333
Pages 281 pages
Rating 4/5 (36 users)

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