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Kate Fox looks at the world of British horse racing, the various tribes and customs of the participants - from the crowds to the jockeys, owners and trainers. She identifies the subculture with its traditions, rituals, language and etiquette.
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Delightful ... well worth a flutter. -- The Independent
Fabulous ... Quite enchanting ... sure to provide lots of enjoyment. -- The Racing Post
Fox is a social anthropologist - but this does not prevent her from writing like an angel. The book is a triumph. -- Sunday Express
Kate Fox consistently reveals us to ourselves. She is meticulous, illuminating and very funny indeed. -- Times Literary Supplement
Simply a small masterpiece. Mark our words. Miss Fox is the next big thing. -- The Express
‘A delightful new way of looking at a familiar world – a wonderfully fresh approach to the pleasures of a day at the races’ Desmond Morris
Anthropologists are supposed to do their research in remote, uncomfortable, unpronounceable parts of the world - places with monsoons, mud-huts and malaria. Kate Fox was given an altogether more enjoyable assignment:- to study the arcane world of horseracing - the whole racing tribe, from race-goers, jockeys, trainers, bookies and stewards. An unexpected world is revealed from an entirely different perspective - instead of an amorphous racing crowd, Kate sees Enthusiasts, Horseys, Addicts, Anoraks, Socials, Pair-bonders, Suits and Be-seens. Among the racing professionals, she identifies Shamans and Warriors, Scribes and Elders, Connections and Sin-eaters.
Clad in appropriate tribal costume (frivolous hat, mini-skirt, high heels), Kate ventured where no ‘manwatcher’ had gone before – she spends time with each of these groups, finding out how to identify them from their dress, body-language and behavioural quirks; learning about their position in the social structure of the tribe, their attitudes and beliefs, their territories and habits.
The Racing Tribe is also a refreshingly candid account of anthropological fieldwork, including all the embarrassing mistakes, hiccups, short-cuts and guesswork that most social scientists keep very quiet about. Kate’s findings are fascinating in themselves, but the personal story of how she found them – trying to interview half-naked jockeys in weighing rooms; overcoming her fear of the big, scary trainer David Nicholson; struggling to understand the tribe’s strange dialect – gives this book an endearing human dimension.
Every kind of racegoer - armchair fans included - will be intrigued and entertained by this fascinating book; Kate Fox does for the racing world what Desmond Morris and David Attenborough have done for the animal kingdom
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Book Description Metro Books, London, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1843580063