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Wrestling and Hypermasculinity

Wrestling and Hypermasculinity by Patrice A. Oppliger
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Professional wrestling revels in its exaggeration of masculinity. This hyper-masculinity is evident in the physical appearance of wrestlers, the sexuality-charged and violent moves used in and out of the ring, the role assigned to women and the extensive use of weapons such as chains, barbed wire and steel folding chairs. This study explores the link between watching televised wrestling matches and increases in verbal aggression, rebellion and propensity toward violence and retaliation. Wrestling is placed within the larger context of popular culture and other hyper-masculine entertainment. The book begins with a brief history of professional wrestling, a summary of the criticisms of the sport, and a discussion of the author's research methods. One chapter discusses how gender socialization plays a part in the effects of wrestling on its viewers, arguing that wrestling goes beyond the image of physically violent acts to models of interpersonal behavior. The expansion of wrestling into storylines outside the ring includes problem situations involving class, race, homophobia and nationality, to which violence is often presented as a solution. The book concludes with an investigation of the attractiveness of wrestling and its ability to lure fans back year after year.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers; December 2003
212 pages; ISBN 9780786481361
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Title: Wrestling and Hypermasculinity
Author: Patrice A. Oppliger