PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore critically the potentially harmful business of professional wrestling in the USA as state-corporate crime.Design/methodology/approachThis paper comprises desk-based research of secondary sources. The lack of official data on the harms experienced by professional wrestlers means that much of the data regarding this is derived from quantitative and qualitative accounts from internet sites dedicated to this issue.FindingsA major finding is that with regard to the work-related harms experienced by professional wrestlers, the business may not be wholly to be blamed, but nor is it entirely blame free. It proposes that one way the work-related harms can be understood is via an examination of the political economic context of neo-liberalism from the 1980s onwards and subsequent state-corporate actions and inactions.Practical implicationsThe paper raises questions about the regulation of the professional wrestling industry together with the misclassification of wrestlers’ worker status (also known as wage theft and tax fraud) and the potential role they play in the harms incurred in this industry.Social implicationsThe potential wider social implications of the misclassification of workers are raised.Originality/valueThe originality and value of this paper is the examination of work-related harms within the professional wrestling industry through the lens of state-corporate crime.
Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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