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An Analysis of the World Wrestling Entertainment Using Critical Theory

Thelma E. Schweigel
Ohio Northern University

Professional wrestling, specifically the World Wrestling Entertainment has historically been a strong force in American society.  This paper will examine the society within the WWE using critical theory, which is a contemporary sociological theory.  The basic propositions of critical theory are that thoughts are a product of society and that people should not try to be objective to separate fact from value judgment.  The first theorist used to explain the society that the WWE has created is Herbert Marcuse.  Marcuse will be used to demonstrate how the WWE uses media to have viewers and wrestlers alike lose the ability to think critically and question what is happening.  The second theorist that will be used to explain this society is C. Wright Mills.  Mills will be used to demonstrate that the WWE has created a bureaucracy which ensures a strong centralization of power by using marketing and the media.  The goal of this research is to better understand the society that the WWE has created and its possible implications on society as a whole.