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Title: A socio-historical analysis of violent combat sports in Japan with particular reference to the theory of the civilising process
Author: Yokoyama, Kensuke.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3575 3545
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2006
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The main aims of this thesis are to examine 'total fighting' (mixed martial arts), which is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, from several different angles with particular reference to the issue of violence, and, at the end, to evaluate the appropriateness of an Eliasian framework, which is based upon the theory of the civilising process, first suggested by Norbert Elias in his 1939 study, for understanding a relatively contemporary spectator-oriented violent sport, such as total fighting. Total fighting is widely regarded as a 'barbaric' form of sport which cannot be accommodated within the realm of modem sport due to its apparently high level of violence, cruelty and brutality. In this regard, the nature of this sport can be said to contradict the understandings of those who support the theory, in which it is claimed that modem sports are leading inexorably towards less violent, cruel and brutal forms. This thesis has two dimensions: first, the development of combative sports, such as bujutsu, budD and professional wrestling (all of which have a close relationship to total fighting) as well as total fighting, was examined in order to understand the emergence and growing popularity of total fighting in the 1990s in the context of the historical development of combative sports in Japan; second, the case study of total fighting itself was contextualised in the broader context of youth culture and the issue of violence in contemporary Japan. These interrelated analyses were informed by a period of exploratory fieldwork in Japan, during which the practices of total fighting and its spectator appeal were observed, and this context was reviewed in the light of a broader theoretical discussion concerning the theory of the civilising process. This study is the first academic attempt to understand a relatively new sport that emerged in the 1990s, and also makes a contribution tobroader sociological discussions concerrung the accuracy and usefulness of the theory of the civilising process
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available