This qualitative case study explored the fitness and gender norms that are created in exercise spaces, specifically focusing on a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fitness center in Orange County, California. It is important to explore the fitness and gender norms at an MMA fitness center to understand their ideas of gender and fitness as a community. As a member of this fitness center, I collected data in the form of interviews and observations. Participants in this study were ages 18 and above and are active members of the MMA fitness center, including Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athletes, MMA competitors, coaches, class instructors, or class attendees. Interviews and reflective field notes were coded using Queer Theory (Britzman, 2005) and Communities of Practice (CoP) theory (Wenger, 1998) as a lens for my analyses in identifying heterosexual norms, masculinity, and gender norms in an MMA fitness center community. The findings of this study highlight how MMA fitness centers reinforce heterosexual norms and toxic masculinity, while also providing a space for community building. I also identified the importance of social media in representing ideas of MMA spaces. Queer Theory and CoP can help guide future research on exploring the gender and fitness norms that are created in MMA spaces. My positionality as the researcher and member of the MMA fitness center, I have voiced my efforts in disrupting these gender and fitness norms of heteronormativity to make the spaces more inclusive of all identities.
|Commitee:||Tejeda, Carlos, Keslacy, Stefan, Lind, Sonja, Snow, Ann|
|School:||California State University, Los Angeles|
|Department:||Applied and Advanced Studies in Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical education, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Communities of practice, Fitness, Gender, Masculinity, Mixed martial arts, Queer|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be