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Fight the biopower! Mixed martial arts as resistance

Sugden, J Fight the biopower! Mixed martial arts as resistance. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. ISSN 1012-6902 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Globally, mixed martial arts (MMA) has seen a staggering level of growth in participation and fandom over the past 20 years. This paper presents the results from an immersive participant ethnography of an urban MMA gym in England’s North West and the experience of some of its members. Emergent is that the practices of MMA can be viewed as acts of resistance against neoliberal norms and expectations that permeate the diverse yet everyday lives of participants outside the gym’s walls. This paper applies the sociological imagination of and through the body and draws from the Foucauldian notion of biopower to discuss how, in the search for athletic solidarity, an authentic community is built and maintained around this transgressive pursuit. It is evident that a diverse range of individuals are making and remaking a space in which neoliberal norms, labels and expectations are rejected in favour of a renewed connection with the body and each other.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article Fight the biopower! Mixed martial arts as resistance is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses and has been accepted for publication in International Review for the Sociology of Sport
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1504 Commercial Services, 1608 Sociology, 2002 Cultural Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Business & Management (new Sep 19)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 12:22
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:11
Editors: Sugden, J
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15338

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