Presenter Information

Courtney C. ChoiFollow

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)

Department

Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Streaming Media

Location

UW Tacoma - William W. Philip Hall, Milgard Assembly Room

Event Website

http://guides.lib.uw.edu/tactalks

Start Date

18-5-2017 5:25 PM

End Date

18-5-2017 5:30 PM

Abstract

This presentation examines shifting gender norms in mixed martial arts cultures – cultures characterized by hypermasculinity. Masculinity is particularly valorized in sport, creating tension for female athletes who are forced to balance masculine norms with feminine beauty ideals. While there is robust literature on the intersections of MMA and masculinity, female voices are rarely heard in that literature. My research goes beyond the work of others by incorporating female voices and perspectives. Grounded in gender constructionism, this presentation addresses how both male and female MMA fighters’ conceive of their, and others’, participation in gendered terms, and how this informs their gender identity. This presentation further examines the intersections of masculinity and gender that are readily observable within MMA, and those that are less conspicuous or go largely unnoticed. Finally, this presentation explores how norms perpetuate gender stereotypes and highlight differences, as masculine norms persists in the fighting culture. Preliminary findings support what past research has suggested, that gender tends to be a central concern for female fighters and a peripheral one for male fighters.

The examination of gender norms in MMA culture contributes to a larger body of research concerning gender roles and norms in larger social contexts. This contribution extends beyond MMA and sport, serving as a commentary on existing power structures solidified by the gender binary. Yet, the question remains, how do male and female fighters navigate masculine norms and expectations in mixed martial arts?

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May 18th, 5:25 PM May 18th, 5:30 PM

Position Before Submission: Grappling with Gender and Hypermasculinity in Mixed Martial Arts

UW Tacoma - William W. Philip Hall, Milgard Assembly Room

This presentation examines shifting gender norms in mixed martial arts cultures – cultures characterized by hypermasculinity. Masculinity is particularly valorized in sport, creating tension for female athletes who are forced to balance masculine norms with feminine beauty ideals. While there is robust literature on the intersections of MMA and masculinity, female voices are rarely heard in that literature. My research goes beyond the work of others by incorporating female voices and perspectives. Grounded in gender constructionism, this presentation addresses how both male and female MMA fighters’ conceive of their, and others’, participation in gendered terms, and how this informs their gender identity. This presentation further examines the intersections of masculinity and gender that are readily observable within MMA, and those that are less conspicuous or go largely unnoticed. Finally, this presentation explores how norms perpetuate gender stereotypes and highlight differences, as masculine norms persists in the fighting culture. Preliminary findings support what past research has suggested, that gender tends to be a central concern for female fighters and a peripheral one for male fighters.

The examination of gender norms in MMA culture contributes to a larger body of research concerning gender roles and norms in larger social contexts. This contribution extends beyond MMA and sport, serving as a commentary on existing power structures solidified by the gender binary. Yet, the question remains, how do male and female fighters navigate masculine norms and expectations in mixed martial arts?

http://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/tactalks/2017/spring/7