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dc.contributor.advisorCoombe, Rosemary
dc.creatorRobitaille, Laurence
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the shifting meanings and values attached to capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian ‘martial game’, as it circulates as a ‘cultural resource’ in the context of neoliberal globalization. Since the 1970s, immigrating Brazilians brought their practice to new lands and commercialized their embodied knowledge and cultural difference. While they initially sought to create economic capital, a whole range of indirect repercussions followed: they generated affective communities, disseminated a Brazilian imaginary soon transformed into symbolic capital, and arguably transmitted an embodied memory that can be traced back to the practice’s African ancestry. This multi-sited ethnographic study uses a mixed methodology to explore how capoeira’s circulation in North American markets enables its multiple uses. A central commitment to theoretical analysis is conveyed by each chapter’s distinctive theoretical framing. Chapter One demonstrates processes of creation of political and ideological value as it examines capoeira’s role in the twentieth century formation of Brazilian nationalism. Chapter Two describes a new paradigm for considering ‘culture’ in a neoliberal political economy in which cultural goods and services assume new valuations. Chapter Three describes capoeira’s commercialization through theories on transnationalism and concepts of economic anthropology. Chapter Four analyses the construction of a field of discourse that renews capoeira’s semantic values, specifically as it relates to the field of Brazilian culture. Chapter Five turns to theories on affect to account for capoeira’s experiential, embodied, and phenomenological power to generate relations of intimacy uniting practitioners. This affective exchange, I argue, drives the whole cross-cultural economy of transnational capoeira. Chapter Six studies capoeira as performance to understand how its traditional system of values is perpetuated. This study demonstrates that capoeira’s transnational circulation has generated a coherent system of interacting values fueled by individual entrepreneurship but also socially experienced and collectively perpetuated. It shows how cultural objects, representations, and practices can be intentionally wielded to generate a broad range of benefits including, but not reduced to, economic ones. Understanding culture in such pragmatic terms highlights cultural actions’ potential to contribute to broader fields of value, where value is understood as simultaneously economic, politic, cultural, and affective, and both socially and individually generated. Abstract
dc.rightsAuthor owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
dc.subjectCultural anthropology
dc.subjectLatin American studies
dc.titleCapoeira as a Resource: Multiple Uses of Culture Under Conditions of Transnational Neoliberalism
dc.typeElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US & Culture, Joint Program with Ryerson University - Doctor of Philosophy
dc.subject.keywordsCulture as resource
dc.subject.keywordsExpediency of culture
dc.subject.keywordsCultural studies
dc.subject.keywordsLatin American studies
dc.subject.keywordsPopular culture
dc.subject.keywordsCultural theory

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