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‘The Nordic female fighter’: Exploring women’s participation in mixed martial arts in Norway and Sweden
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. (ReSHAPE)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4985-3595
Nord University, Bodø, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8579-1539
2019 (English)In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, ISSN 1012-6902, E-ISSN 1461-7218Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to investigate women’s participation in mixed martial arts in the Nordic countries. The study is based on a qualitative and quantitative methodological approach consisting of individual interviews and focus group interviews with Swedish female mixed martial arts fighters and data from a Norwegian survey of participants in Norwegian mixed martial arts clubs. A total of 12 female fighters were interviewed, while 484 respondents participated in the survey. The results show that women exercising mixed martial arts contain a potential to act as feminist role models through their counter-hegemonic renegotiation of norms and views on femininity and, more specifically, the perception of femininity as something fragile and passive. Despite this progressive potential, the informants unanimously affirm that combat sports in general and in different ways are dominated by males. The data indicates that women still represent a small and marginalised group among mixed martial arts participants in the Nordic countries. Furthermore, women participating in mixed martial arts compete less and are less motivated by performance enhancement (developing as fighters, winning fights/tournaments/titles) compared to the male participants. However, both male and female participants value health and fun as the most important reasons for their participation in mixed martial arts training groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Combat sport, gender, hegemony, inclusion and exclusion, masculinities, MMA
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71589DOI: 10.1177/1012690218822307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71589DiVA, id: diva2:1280225
Available from: 2019-01-18 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved

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Alsarve, Daniel

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf