Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Ted Friedman - Chair
This analysis of the professional wrestling genre attempts to understand the complex reading practices employed by wrestling’s fan community. I argue that wrestling fans consume these texts in the context of both the official narratives of media producers and the meta-narratives that exist independently of the official texts. In addition, I argue that wrestling fans display characteristics normally reserved for traditional media producers, collaborating with those producers over the direction of the official narratives. This process of collaboration is indicative of the blurring of the boundaries between textual producers and consumers and necessitates a theoretical conception of the audience that accounts for these unique fan practices. I have called this audience conception the productive audience model.
Toepfer, Shane, "A Community of Smarks: Professional Wrestling and the Changing Relationship between Textual Producers and Consumers" (2006). Communication Theses. Paper 15.