Doctor of Philosophy
The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the use of representations and symbols of Canadian identity within the event coverage produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship Corporation, in the context of its two key events, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Fight Night, produced in Canada. To establish the historical context in which the sport developed in Canada, a narrative historiography of the political and legal struggles that led to the legalization and increasing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, and the UFCC’s version of the sport, in particular. This first major part of the dissertation is contained in Study 1. The second major part of the dissertation consists of two interrelated studies (Studies 2 and 3), both focussing on narratives of Canadian identity produced by the UFCC in its main event and related coverage. Using Stuart Hall concept of encoding/decoding, Study 2 investigated the UFCC’s broadcast and narrative production as the encoding stage of the communication process. Study 3, conversely, investigated the responses and comments produced by the UFC fan base, in response to the UFCC’s coverage. Certain fan blogs and web sites were investigated as the expression of the fan base perspective. These responses were investigated as the decoding stage, in Hall’s conceptualization of the communication process. The findings from studies 2 and 3 show that the strategic use of specific themes of Canadian identity invoked in the context of UFC event coverage, was to a large extent accepted positively by the segment of the fan base investigated here; however, oppositional or negotiated readings of the UFCC’s coverage was significantly evident in the fan blog responses as well.
Summary for Lay Audience
The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the use and presentation of Canadian identity within the event coverage broadcasted by the Ultimate Fighting Championship Corporation, in the context of its two key events, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Fight Night, produced in Canada. This is done to examine how national identity used by sport broadcaster and how audiences reaction to the embedded messages.
Walters, Jared V., "Narratives of Canadian Identity at the Ultimate Fighting Championship" (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6783.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License