Ultimate fighting championship fans: foundations of subcultural stratification

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Publication details

MacDonald, KE, Lamont, M & Jenkins, JM 2017, 'Ultimate fighting championship fans: foundations of subcultural stratification', Leisure Sciences.

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a professional mixed martial arts league around which a subculture of fans has developed. Using a theoretical framework for the study of collectives, this study explored foundations of social stratification within UFC subculture. Multiple modes of qualitative data were collected at a major UFC event. Social stratification was perceived by UFC fans as influenced by an individual's subcultural capital, reflected by their scope and mode of involvement in the UFC subculture; displays of UFC fandom through dress; expression through specialized mixed martial arts (MMA) discourse and knowledge; strategic social media use; and conduct at MMA events. This research also highlights the importance of digital technologies and mediated communication in studying contemporary leisure-centered subcultures.

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