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De-sportization of fighting contests. The Origins and Dynamics of No Holds Barred Events and the Theory of Sportization

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De-sportization of fighting contests. The Origins and Dynamics of No Holds Barred Events and the Theory of Sportization

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Samenvatting

On the basis of an empirical analysis of the recent emergence, spread and transformation of No Holds Barred fighting contests, it is argued that Norbert Elias's model of sportization provides a fruitful but insufficiently differentiated framework for understanding the development of sports and sport-like contests. Although the successive transformations of martial arts in the twentieth century provide various examples of sportization and para-sportization, the emergence of No Holds Barred events in the 1990s represents an opposing trend, a process of de-sportization. The analysis of No Holds Barred contests demonstrates that the balance between sportization and de-sportization depends primarily on the interests of the organizers, and in particular on the degree to which they rely on the perspectives of practitioners, spectators, or viewers. The decisive factor for the predominance of the latter perspective was the formation of a new market for visual material, which emerged with pay-per-view television. This allowed - at least temporarily - the commercialization of non-sanctioned events, suggesting that new markets for visual material are likely to become an important factor in the development of spectator sports and sport-like forms of entertainment.

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OrganisatieFontys Hogescholen
LectoraatLectoraat Sportbusiness
Gepubliceerd inInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport Sage, Vol. 41, Uitgave: 3-4, Pagina's: 259-282
Jaar2006
TypeArtikel
ISSN1012-6902
TaalEngels

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