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In toxic hating masculinity: MMA hard men and media representation

Bowman, John 2020. In toxic hating masculinity: MMA hard men and media representation. Sport in History 40 (3) , pp. 395-410. 10.1080/17460263.2020.1756394

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This article begins by focusing on the presumed relation between the toughness fostered by mixed martial arts (MMA) and the maintenance of traditional ‘hard man’ forms of toxic masculinity. However, it adds an extra dimension to this discussion. It argues that (first) the UFC and (thereafter) MMA as a whole were in very tangible ways invented within and thanks to reality TV. As such, it contends that MMA’s often debated relation to ‘real’ fighting needs to be approached in full awareness to the implications of its indebtedness to media representation. Because of this debt, it argues that media representation itself ought to be understood as playing an active role in the invention, maintenance or modification of gendered representation. Finally, it proposes that if a kind of ‘MMA toxic masculinity’ is regarded as being a problem, then the solution may not simply be to ‘change MMA’. Rather, both the problem and the solution may more precisely be located in the kinds of media representations that circulate about MMA subjects and subjectivities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1746-0263
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 April 2020
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 12:23

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