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Carla A. Santos, Scott Tainsky, K. Alexander Schmidt, and Changsup Shim

To date, scholarly attention to mixed martial arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization has been limited. This study sought to address this gap in literature by focusing on the news media’s framing of public officials’ discourse concerning MMA. In so doing, the study addressed the entanglement of news media, sport, and contemporary political maneuvering. Overall, findings suggest two dominant media frames: leveraging of sociopolitical capital to protect societal values and leveraging of sociopolitical capital to advocate for legislation. Specifically, the authors propose that news media have framed and reframed MMA as a succession of moral threats and reassurances that are given voice by public officials in the name of protecting the citizenry.

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Justen Hamilton

than undoing gender, some heterosexual WMMA athletes may, in fact, overdo gender by oversubscribing to gender norms in their intimate relationships to compensate for feelings of feminine insecurity. WMMA and Physical Feminism Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows athletes

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Jules Woolf, Brennan K. Berg, Brianna L. Newland, and B. Christine Green

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a rapidly growing combat sport with unique development procedures unlike most traditional sports. In this study the development processes at an exemplar MMA gym were examined. Institutional work theory was used to understand how and why the sport is being developed in this setting. The results provide a microlevel account of the processes and operation of the sport as it develops, and indicate that traditional sport development models may not adequately represent all sports. Subcultural values reflecting what it takes to be a fighter along with a fighter’s duty to the gym influence recruitment, retention, and transition strategies of athletes. Two forms of institutional work, refinement and barrier work, were identified as simultaneously aiding and hindering the development of the sport. Along with furthering institutional theory research, this study contributes to the discourse on alternative ways of sport development for MMA and emergent sports.

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Ted M. Butryn, Matthew A. Masucci, and jay a. johnson

Long after other professional leagues suspended live events due to public health guidelines related to COVID-19, mixed martial arts (MMA) impresario and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president and chief executive officer Dana White continued to brazenly promote UFC 249, scheduled to take

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Terry Eddy, Lamar Reams, and Stephen Dittmore

As online business models have evolved, learning what drives users’ consumptive behaviors has gained increasing interest to sport researchers and sport properties. An increasing number of sport properties are expanding, and deriving revenues from, their presence on digital-media platforms (e.g., MLB, NBA, NFL, UFC, WWE, etc.). Of the sport properties mentioned, none are more reliant on digital-media activity than the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the motivations and related consumption habits of users of non-subscription-based (i.e., free-to-use) online message boards. Findings suggest that message-board users find value in the opportunities for interactivity and that heavy online mixed-martial-arts users watch more events and purchase more merchandise than those who spend less time online.

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Jack Thomas Sugden

This study began when, after a 4-year absence, the author returned to the United Kingdom in 2017 to find that the popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) and related participation statistics had ballooned in recent years, as it has done globally ( Delory, Sirost, & Roland, 2018 ). In 2009, the

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Mark Mierzwinski, Philippa Velija, and Dominic Malcolm

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), like the majority of relatively violent sports, has mainly been organized around the capabilities of the male body. However various indices suggest that women’s engagement with MMA is growing. The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis of women’s involvement in MMA using a figurational sociological approach. In doing so, we draw on interview data with “elite” female mixed martial artists to explore the extent to which females within MMA experience a specifically gendered “quest for excitement.” The paper further illustrates how the notion of “civilized bodies” can be used to interpret the distinctly gendered experiences of shame in relation to fighting in combat sports, the physical markings incurred as a consequence, and perceptions of sexual intimacy in the close physical contact of bodies. In so doing this paper provides the first figurationally-informed study of female sport involvement to focus explicitly on the role of violence in mediating social relations, while refining aspects of the figurational sociological approach to provide a more adequate framework for the analysis of gender relations.

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Evan L. Frederick, Galen E. Clavio, Lauren M. Burch, and Matthew H. Zimmerman

For this case study, an Internet-based survey was posted on a popular mixed-martial- arts (MMA) blog to ascertain its users’ demographics and usage trends. Data analysis revealed that users were predominantly White men between the ages of 23 and 39, with some college education and an annual income of $40,000–59,999. An exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 dimensions of gratification: evaluation, community, information gathering, knowledge demonstration, argumentation, and diversion. The most salient motivation statements were related to the speed of information access, the depth of information and coverage, and the availability of information not typically found through traditional media outlets. Most users spent 1–5 hr/wk watching MMA programming and 1–10 hr/wk on MMA blogs, making 1–20 comments per week. Findings indicated that users used this particular blog for both interactive and information-gathering purposes.

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’s Soccer in Germany Henk Erik Meier * Cosima von Uechtriz * 15 04 2020 1 12 2020 37 4 328 345 10.1123/ssj.2019-0126 ssj.2019-0126 Undoing Gender or Overdoing Gender? Women MMA Athletes’ Intimate Partnering and the Relational Maintenance of Femininity Justen Hamilton * 21 04 2020 1 12 2020 37 4 346

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Gareth McNarry, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, and Adam B. Evans

swimming highlights that participants have to endure significant levels of pain and discomfort in their efforts to achieve personal goals and, for some, financial gain. In other sports not usually deemed endurance sports, such as mixed martial arts (MMA), for example, “amateur” enthusiasts ofttimes subject