Matthew A. Masucci, Ph.D.



MacQuarrie Hall 430


(408) 924-3021

Research Gate Profile

Twitter: @MasucciSJSU

Matthew Masucci 


Professor Bio

Dr. Matthew Masucci received a B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Salisbury University, an M.A. in philosophy from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in social/cultural foundations of sport and cultural studies at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Masucci is a professor, former deparment chair and is currently serving as the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at San José State University. Prior to his role as department chair, he taught a wide array of courses ranging from undergraduate major and general education classes to core graduate research and elective courses.

In general, Dr. Masucci's research is interdisciplinary and involves the intersection of cultural studies, critical sport studies, philosophy, psychology and sociology. Primarily his work is qualitative and has centered on sporting narratives and the implications on identity, meaning, and community.

In the realm of sport studies, he is engaged in a critical, historical and political qualitative analysis of the controversial sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting. Toward that end, and in collaboration with Dr. Ted Butryn, Masucci has conducted numerous MMA-related research projects including a content analysis of media representations of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, an (auto)ethnography of a local MMA gym, as well as  a grant-supported investigation exploring the motivational and coping strategies of professional MMA competitors. In addition, Masucci, along with Dr. Jay Johnson and Dr. Ted Butryn, have conducted a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) funded research project that explores the sources of knowledge of doping substances and techniques for elite-level American and Canadian female triathletes. 

Matthew's longtime interest in bicycle racing has led to international presentations and published research as well as a project exploring the meaning a local cycling community makes of the tragic loss of one of their members and a local social movement called the San José Bike Party.

Matthew is an active participant in several professional organizations including the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) and serves as the co-director of the Department of Kinesiology Qualitative Research Laboratory In his free time, Matthew enjoys cycling, trail running, camping, hiking, and reading. 



Ph.D. University of Tennessee – Cultural Studies in Education (Concentration: Social-Cultural Foundations of Sport and Education)

M.A. Ohio University - Philosophy (Concentration: Sport Philosophy)

B.S. Salisbury University – Liberal Studies (Major: Philosophy/Minor: Psychology)


Expertise, Research & Teaching Interests

  • Qualitative research methodologies
  • Critical negotiation and representation of sporting identity
  • Doping issues in sport
  • Sport, media, and technology
  • Multidisciplinary investigation of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • The bicycle as medium for fitness and advocacy
  • Sport and the environment


Courses Taught at SJSU

Philosophy of Sport (Undergraduate Core)

Sport in America (General Education)

Diversity, Stress and Health (General Education)

Stress Management (General Education)

Sport and Film (General Education)

Graduate Seminar: Philosophy of Sport (Graduate Class)

Qualitative Research Methods in Sport (Graduate Core Class)

Various Activity Classes


Selected Publications


Masucci, M. A., Butryn, T. M. & Johnson, J. (2019). Knowledge of Doping Practices and Anti-doping Education Among Elite Professional Female Triathletes. Performance Enhancement & Health.

Johnson, J., Masucci, M. A., & Signer-Kroeker, M. A. (2018). Everything Looks Better from the Seat of a Bike: A Qualitative Exploration of the San José Bike Party.  Leisure/Loisir.

Masucci, M. A., & Butryn, T. M. (2013). Writing about fighting: A critical content analysis of newspaper coverage of The Ultimate Fighting Championship from 1993-2006.  Journal of Sport Media, 8 (1), 19-44.

Johnson, J., Butryn, T., & Masucci, M. A. (2013). A focus group analysis of US and Canadian female triathletes’ knowledge of dopingSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 16 (5), 645-671.

Lobesack, A., Kahanov, L., Masucci, M. A., & Roberts. J. (2010). Female Athletic Trainers' Perspectives on Parenthood in the Collegiate Employment SettingJournal of Athletic Training, 45 (5), 459-466.

Johnson, J., & Masucci, M. A. (2009). No final victories: 40 years on the frontlines of race, sport, and culture – An interview with scholar/activist Dr. Harry Edwards. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education,3 (2), 233–252.

Butryn, T. M., & Masucci, M. A. (2009). Traversing the Matrix: Cyborg athletes, technology, and the environment. Special Issue on Sports and the Politics of Nature. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 33 (3), 285-307.


Masucci, M. A., & Butryn, T. M. (2015). Caged quandaries: Mixed martial arts and the politics of research. In R. Schinke, & K. McGannon (Eds.), The psychology of sub-culture in sport and physical activity: Critical perspectives (pp. 170-184). East Sussex, UK: Routledge Press.

Masucci, M. A. (2013). Sport Philosophy. In S. Brown (Ed.), Fundamentals of Kinesiology (pp. 60-71). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing, Co.

Masucci, M. A. (2011). Pondering pedagogical possibilities: Physical education and the activation of critical service learning.  In M. Miller, & J. Nendel, (Eds.), Service Learning in Physical Education and Other Related Professions: A Global Perspective (pp. 87-97). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers


Selected Presentations

Chin, C., Masucci, M., & Johnson, J. (2018, November) Bikes and Beats: Engaging the San José Bike Party Through Mobile Video Ethnography. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Vancouver, BC, CA.

Butryn, T., Masucci, M., & Johnson, J. (2018, November) A "Notorious" Spectacle: Reading Conor McGregor Through a Narrative Lens. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Vancouver, BC, CA.

Chin, J., Johnson, J., & Masucci, M. (2018, June). Through the Optical Lens:  Musings on Developing a Moving Methodology. Paper presented at the annual meeting of International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise (QRSE), Vancouver, BC, CA.

Masucci, M. & Falcous, M. (2017, November). Bike Tribes Inc: Negotiating Road Cycling Identities and the Bicycle Industry. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Windsor, Ontario, CA.

Falcous, M & M. Masucci. (2016, November). Myth and the Narrativistion of Cycle Racing. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Tampa, FL.

Masucci, M. & Johnson, J. (2015, November). #BuildingCommunityThroughBicycling: An Examination of “Neo-Activist” Media Strategies in the Proliferation of the San José Bike Party. Paper accepted for presentation at the National Communications Association (NCA) 101st Annual Convention November 19-22, 2015 Las Vegas, NV.

Masucci, M. (2014, November).  Embodied Epistemology: Mixed martial arts, pain and the politics of research.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA), Los Angeles, CA.

Johnson, J., M. Masucci & Chin, J. (2014, October) Party in the Streets: Exploring the Hidden Politics of the Bike Party Movement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Portland, OR.

Masucci, M. & Johnson, J. (2012, November). After Mass:  An Exploration of the San José Bike Party and Neo-Activist Bicycle Movements in North America. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), New Orleans, LA.


Undergraduate/Graduate Student Research Supervision

Thesis Chair:

Dave, V., M.A. SJSU (2013) Effects of stretching on jump performance: A systematic review of the literature.

House, H., M.A. SJSU (2011) The ability of youth soccer coaches to recognize and manage a concussion.

Ohkubo, M.,  M.A. SJSU (2008) Female intercollegiate Athletic Trainers’ experiences with gender stereotypes.

Selected Culminating Experience: Project Supervisor

Encinas, K., M.A. SJSU (2014) A Literature Bases Business Plan: The Uptempo Wellness Academy-A Non-Profit Organization

Monobe, E., M.A. SJSU (2014) NCAA Division I Coaches Use of Social Media in Recruiting: A Pilot Study

Starr, S., M.A. SJSU (2014) How to Cultivate Sponsorship and Involve the Community in the Promotion of Physical Education and Athletics: A Fund Raising Guide

Harberts, B., M.A. SJSU (2013) A Qualitative Examination of Attitudes to and Experiences of Physical Contact and Aggression in Elite Women’s Water Polo.

Kazemi, L., M.A. SJSU (2013) A Qualitative Examination of the Motivations, Experiences, and Perceptions of Male Athletes Using Minimal Shoes.

Laraya, J., M.A. SJSU (2012) A Qualitative Examination of Tongan Athletes’ Perceptions on Seeking Treatment for An Athletic Injury.

Wright, R., M.A. SJSU (2012) A qualitative examination of local news reporters’ coverage of Barry Bonds.


Professional Affiliations

  • North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS)
  • International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS)
  • American Studies Association (ASA)

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