Wrestlers, fans, and power dynamics at live events
Within the world of professional wrestling, the blurred boundaries of the live event and physical nature of the sport intersect with the dramatized storytelling of this entertainment experience. As such, this chapter considers how audiences and fans interact with professional performers to co-produce the cultural practices of professional wrestling. The author uses ethnographic research at live professional wrestling events in Sweden to explore how different types of cultural practices enforce and legitimate each other, shaping the affective structure of sports entertainment. The chapter examines how the intersections within sports entertainment highlight the particularities of power made visible through the collective practices of wrestlers and audience members. In the process, this analysis contrasts with Henry Jenkins’ arguments regarding power in a participatory culture, in which media producers retain power over and through the affective economies of convergence culture.