Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling / Edition 1

Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling / Edition 1

by Nicholas Sammond
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822334380

ISBN-13: 9780822334385

Pub. Date: 01/13/2005

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

The antagonists—oiled, shaved, pierced, and tattooed; the glaring lights; the pounding music; the shouting crowd: professional wrestling is at once spectacle, sport, and business. Steel Chair to the Head provides a multifaceted look at the popular phenomenon of pro wrestling. The contributors combine critical rigor with a deep appreciation of

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Overview

The antagonists—oiled, shaved, pierced, and tattooed; the glaring lights; the pounding music; the shouting crowd: professional wrestling is at once spectacle, sport, and business. Steel Chair to the Head provides a multifaceted look at the popular phenomenon of pro wrestling. The contributors combine critical rigor with a deep appreciation of wrestling as a unique cultural form, the latest in a long line of popular performance genres. They examine wrestling as it happens in the ring, is experienced in the stands, is portrayed on television, and is discussed in online chat rooms. In the process, they reveal wrestling as an expression of the contradictions and struggles that shape American culture.

The essayists include scholars in anthropology, psychology, film studies, communication studies, and sociology, one of whom used to wrestle professionally. Classic studies of wrestling by Roland Barthes, Carlos Monsiváis, Sharon Mazer, and Henry Jenkins appear alongside original essays. Whether exploring how pro wrestling inflects race, masculinity, and ideas of reality and authenticity; how female fans express their enthusiasm for male wrestlers; or how lucha libre provides insights into Mexican social and political life, Steel Chair to the Head gives due respect to pro wrestling by treating it with the same thorough attention usually reserved for more conventional forms of cultural expression.

Contributors. Roland Barthes, Douglas L. Battema, Susan Clerc, Laurence de Garis, Henry Jenkins III, Henry Jenkins IV, Heather Levi, Sharon Mazer, Carlos Monsiváis, Lucia Rahilly, Catherine Salmon, Nicholas Sammond, Phillip Serrat, Philip Sewell

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822334385
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/13/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,124,500
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 8.88(h) x (d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: A Brief and Unnecessary Defense of Professional Wrestling / Nicholas Sammond 1

The World of Wrestling / Roland Barthes 23

"Never Trust a Snake": WWF Wrestling as Masculine Melodrama / Henry Jenkins III 33

"Real Wrestling"/ "Real" Life / Sharon Mazer 67

The Hour of the Mask as Protagonist: El Santo versus the Skeptics on the Subject of Myth / Carlos Monsivais 88

The Mask of the Luchador: Wrestling, Politics, and Identity in Mexico / Heather Levi 96

Squaring the Family Circle: WWF Smackdown Assaults the Social Body / Nicholas Sammond 132

"Ladies Love Wrestling, Too": Female Wrestling Fans Online / Catherine Salmon and Susan Clerc 167

The "Logic" of Professional Wrestling / Laurence De Garis 192

Is RAW War? Professional Wrestling as Popular S/M Narrative / Lucia Rahilly 213

Not Quite Heroes: Race, Masculinity, and Latino Professional Wrestlers / Phillip Serrato 232

Trading in Masculinity: Muscles, Money and Market Discourse in the WWF / Douglas Battema and Philip Sewell 260

Afterword, Part II: Growing up and Growing More Risqué / Henry Jenkins IV 317

Glossary 343

Contributors 345

Index 347

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