Honours Thesis Proposal: A Sociological Analysis of the Normalization of Weight-Cutting in Combat Sports


  • Alexandra Gagnon MacEwan University


This presentation outlines an honours research proposal to analyze the normalization of weight- cutting in combat sports from a sociological perspective. While there is extensive research on the various methods used by athletes to make weight such as combining dietary restriction with dehydration and rapid weight-loss techniques (Artioli et al., 2019; Connor & Egan, 2019; Reale et al., 2017) and there is also literature on the negative effects of such practices for athletes (Franchini et al., 2012; Green et al., 2007; Lakicevic et al., 2021; Oöpik et al., 1996; Strauss et al., 1985; Sundgot-Borgen & Garthe, 2011), little is known about the processes wherein athletes come to learn these practices. Through the use of in-depth qualitative interviews with Judo athletes recognized at the national level, this research will explore the process whereby rapid weight loss is learned and reinforced among high-performance athletes.

Department: Sociology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Diane Symbaluk