MARTIAL ARTS, MEDIA AND SPECTACLE

A comprehensive study on mixed martial arts

The theme of my MA thesis in Communication is martial arts mediatization and spectacularization, or how they are deeply becoming a product of the cultural industry, and, as the object, MMA (mixed martial arts) in the same relationship with media. This essay was presented as my formal Masters in Arts in Communication degree ceremony at Faculdade Cásper Líbero in São Paulo, Brazil, in October, 2016. The main issue has to do with the ways in which media and spectacle are acting today in the martial arts world. The overall goal is to show, through various facets, products and events, how this process is evident in the specific case of mixed martial arts. Other goals are to elucidate the relationship between cinema and the rise of MMA and some of the most important differences between the philosophy of historical martial arts and among them as media products. Also, we intend to perceive the spectacle through a complex and comprehensive vision, that is, not only towards the negative criticism of the spectacle in its relationship with the market, but also the spectacle as a social reality and as a right. The main theoretical references are Zygmunt Bauman and the metaphor of liquid modernity; from the Frankfurt School, the Walter Benjamin vision of democratization of culture through mass culture, or culture industry, that Adorno and Horkheimer had also discussed; Guy Debord and the society of the spectacle; the media spectacle and multiperspectivity from Kellner; Huizinga and his concept of Homo ludens; Yvana Fechine and the concept of esthesia; and also Campbell and Vogler with theirs studies of the place and the meanings of the myth; and Norbert Elias and changes in aggressiveness forms in the civilizing process. Other key contributions consider the communication understanding from the body proposed by Kamper and Baitello Junior, complex thinking proposed by Morin and the comprehensive thinking, in line with the investigations carried out under the research group “Communication, Dialogue and Comprehension” and the project “Comprehension as a Method”, from the Casper Libero College, in partnership with the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia. Methodologically, the study of theoretical references is done side by side with close observation, analysis and interviews related to the programming of the “Canal Combate” the film “Stronger than the World: The Story of Jose Aldo” and the powerful organization UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). This is a work of the MA in Communication Casper Libero College Program, the research line “media products: Journalism and Entertainment”.

Keywords: Communication. media products. Mediatization and Spectacularization. Mixed martial arts. Comprehension as a Method.

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