Professional Wrestling as Ritual Drama in American Popular Culture
This text analyzes the phenomenon of American professional wrestling in light of the critical dramaturgy of Erving Goffman, Victor Turner and Mary Jo Deegan. It seeks to offer a scholarly explanation and sociological insight into professional wrestling in America.
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Historical Roots and Modern Development
The Ritual Setting
The Ritual Character
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action actors Adrian Adonis American anti-structure arena audience auditorium Bam Bam Bigelow become brackets bureaucratic camera Champion character composite symbols contest core codes Cowboy created crowd Deegan DiBiase Dirty White Boy disabled dress elites entertainment ethnic example Fallguys football Foreign Menace frame GLOW Goffman grudge match heroes and villains Hillbilly Hillbilly Jim Honky Tonk Hulk Hogan illegal individual instrumental symbols interaction interviews Killer Kowalski lamination liminal liminoid mask meaning media-constructed modern ritual modern society National Wrestling Alliance Nature Boy non-modern observed opponents participants participatory play presented professional wrestling promoters racial Randy Macho reference reinforce represent ring rite ritual activities ritual drama ropes rules Savage sexism Sociology spectator Sports Illustrated status stereotypes stigma style tactics tag-team Ted DiBiase television themes traditional Turner typically utilize values violence wears women working-class wrestlers wrestling associations wrestling fans wrestling's