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Fighting in Hockey – Defining Canadian Masculinity

CBC Radio program ‘The Current‘ had a fascinating discussion about fighting in hockey and definitions of Canadian masculinity. Sports writer Bruce Dowbiggin and sports psychologist Saul Miller contribute to the discussion. One of the callers to the program was Anne Hartman, anthropology graduate student at York University. This conversation is far more nuanced than the general banter about hockey fights you often hear on sports talk radio.

From the CBC website:

You heard hockey analyst Mike Milbury use the word “pansify” [to refer to removing fighting from hockey]. You might also have heard the term “pansification” tossed around elsewhere to describe any attempt to take fighting out of hockey. It’s an issue that has divided the hockey world. And Canadians are split too. Although according to a poll released two weeks ago, the forces in favour of so-called “pansification” hold a slim majority. We heard from Jeff Walker who is Vice President of Harris Decima, the company that conducted the poll.

So most Canadians want fighting out of hockey. But the people most deeply immersed in the sport — young men — want it to stay. And they accuse everyone else of just not getting the game. For their thoughts on this disconnect, we were joined by Doctor Saul Miller. He’s a sports psychologist who has worked with several NHL teams and junior hockey leagues … And Bruce Dowbiggin is a columnist with the Calgary Herald.

Listen to the entire discussion — which would interest anyone interested in cultural expressions and definitions of masculinity — here. (Scroll down — it’s part 3.)

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2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thomas McIlwraith on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 9:48 am

    @CMcGranahan Funny though … I should check my own blog for thoughts on hockey violence. http://tinyurl.com/dajuun

  2. Thomas McIlwraith on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    @CMcGranahan Funny though … I should check my own blog for thoughts on hockey violence. http://tinyurl.com/dajuun