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Fighting VisibilitySports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC$
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Jennifer McClearen

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043734

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043734.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Gendering the American Dream

Gendering the American Dream

(p.83) Chapter 3 Gendering the American Dream
Fighting Visibility

Jennifer McClearen

University of Illinois Press

The third chapter of Fighting Visibility investigates how the UFC incorporates diverse female fighters into discourses of meritocracy and the American dream. While sports media has long embraced the myth of the American dream in its storytelling, narratives and human-interest stories about pugilists rarely feature women as the central protagonists and pursuers of that dream. Branded difference in the UFC alters this discourse to include women of diverse nationalities, ethnicities, and sexualities. The revisions to include women of color and lesbians in the dream discourse entice an expendable labor force willing to sacrifice their health, wellness, and livelihood to pursue their UFC dreams, which proves yet again that making women visible in sports media does not automatically yield equity.

Keywords:   UFC, American Dream, Meritocracy, Gender, Sexuality, Ethnicity, Nationality, Labor, sports media

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