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Title: Audience affirmation and the labour of professional wrestling
Authors: Chow, BDV
Laine, E
Keywords: professional wrestling;audience;wrestlers;audience affirmation
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Chow, B.D.V. and Laine, E. (2014) 'Audience affirmation and the labour of professional wrestling', Performance Research, On Affirmation, 19 (2), pp. 44-53. doi: 10.1080/13528165.2014.928516.
Abstract: Professional wrestling presents a simulacrum of grappling and combat sport practices with ancient roots, framed by serial narratives of rivalry, jealousy and deceit that present a simplistic moral universe. [{note}]1 Situated between sport and theatre, the audience has a large and active role in the spectacle, participating as if the results of the matches were not determined before the performers enter the ring. Professional wrestling exaggerates the imperative to perform -- the sentiment that the ‘show must go on.’ After all, it is as if there were something at stake for the spectators, and their gestures of affirmation often encourage excessive work and labour on the parts of the wrestlers. Fans cheer when wrestlers bleed. Risky leaps are rewarded with admiring chants.
ISSN: 1352-8165
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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