Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Sociology of MMA

The other thing I've started at Sociology In Focus is a series on the sociology of mixed martial arts. Thus far, I've made three posts in the series:

No doubt, more on the way in the months and years to come.

blog search engine
academics links


  1. I don't agree at all with your idea that fighters who cry after a fight are feeling "gendered shame". Fighting is a hugely emotional event and comes at the end of a long period of self denial and very hard work, all of which is staked on winning. Fighters often create a mindset where they believe they are incapable of losing just to get through it all. In addition to that, being hit in the head can make you emotional, I have no idea why but it's certainly anecdotally true of myself and people I know.

    Doesn't it seem likely that head trauma, loss of potential winnings and career advancement and breakdown of psychological self belief are just as important as "shame"? Do you believe that all fighters are so insecure in their masculinity that they cry at any insult to it? Would an enlightened individual such as yourself be above such "gendered shame" if he'd just spent 15 minutes being beaten up?

    Personally I train MMA and have fought professionally. In my experience fighters speak openly about what they are going through before a fight in terms of self doubt, mental exhaustion and fear and we support one another through it. Fighters are some of the least stereotypically "macho" people I know.

    Honestly, if you want to understand MMA, join a gym and get a fight. Otherwise you're simply projecting your own ideas onto others.

    1. To "Anonymous":

      1. I was reviewing the article published in Social Psychology Quarterly, which discusses gendered shame.

      2. I've trained regularly at MMA gyms, and competed at the amateur level (though not pro or semi-pro like you). And I've competed quite successfully at the highest level of NCAA athletics back in the day, so I'm quite aware of pressures put on athletes from a variety of combat and non combat sports.

      3. I've interviewed dozens of MMA fighters, some of the greats like Hendo, Couture, Mezger and so on, as well as mid-level pro fighters, semi-pro's on local circuits and amateurs. Yes, they opened up to me and my colleague who I did the study with, and unless they're lying to us, they've all appreciated our varying viewpoints on the sport.

  2. Good Blog and Good Article About The Sociology of MMA

  3. The information you have shared will surely be beneficial to many people, especially those who are connected in the field.

    sociology graduate programs