Hockey Research at the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Conference

One of the things we like to do at Hockey in Society is highlight current sociocultural research about hockey being done by scholars across the globe (you can see various posts related to academic conferences here). Last week, the annual conference for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), a scholarly association for sport sociologists, took place in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but the program is published online, so I am still able to highlight the research being presented that it relevant to the critical study of hockey and its place in society.

After the jump, check out the abstracts from relevant presentations (including from Hockey in Society writers Courtney Szto and Matt Ventresca). Topics include entrepreneurship and the formation of all-Black sport leagues (including the Colored Hockey League in the Canadian Maritimes) in the Reconstruction Era; racialized media media representations of black players, including the Montreal Canadiens’ P.K. Subban; the demise of Hockey Night in Canada and La soirée du hockey and the loss of hockey on Canada’s pubic broadcasters; social media reaction to Punjabi hockey broadcasts; and concussions in sport.

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Weekly Links: Reaction to Rogers’ NHL broadcast mega-deal; CWHL to be broadcast on Sportsnet; OHL launches mental health initiative; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Please check out our first of two posts on women’s hockey this week, which are using the IIHF’s Girls’ Hockey Weekend as an opportunity to discuss issues for women in hockey culture. The second piece will appear later this weekend. [Hockey in Society]
  • James Bradshaw takes an in-depth look at the 12-year mega-deal signed by Rogers for NHL broadcast rights, and how it will affect the Hockey Night in Canada programming and viewing experience. [The Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, if you can get past the shameless self-promotion of Rogers, this Michael Grange piece gives some interesting insight into the company’s planned innovations for its broadcasts. [Sportsnet]
  • Katie Flynn has an excellent critique of the exclusion of many qualified women from the Rogers broadcast team – definitely a must read. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • Clare Austen was frustrated by an interview with US hockey star Hilary Knight, who recently practiced with the Anaheim Ducks, which was posted on Puck Daddy. She critiques the substance of the interview and poses a series of questions that would provide deeper insight into issues and opportunities in women’s hockey. [Puckology]
  • Some small but important steps for the CWHL this year, as Sportsnet has signed on to broadcast the Clarkson Cup playoffs and an as-yet-to-be-named special event. [Sportsnet]
  • Unfortunately for women in NCAA hockey, there is no such TV deal for their competitions. Eric Burton explores why this is the case and argues for it change. [The Hockey Writers]

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IIHF’s “Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend”: A Chance to Reflect on Barriers and Opportunities for Women in Hockey Culture

The International Ice Hockey Federation is celebrating its fourth annual Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend this coming weekend. The event is designed to raise the profile of women’s hockey globally and to offer participation opportunities for girls, especially those who have never played. From the IIHF:

The World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is a global opportunity for girls to try out hockey as a new sport. Thousands of participants took part in the editions in 2011, 2012 and 2013. . . . It is an opportunity for girls of all ages to try ice hockey. We are looking for hosts all around the world to bring girls from their community together on the ice.

This certainly seems like a noble initiative by the IIHF, although it is certainly debatable to what extent such efforts will close the very significant gender gap that exists between men and women when it comes to their experience as hockey players, fans, or even media members. One way in which this may prove to be a positive initiative is that it provides a prominent and public platform through which to foster dialogue about the opportunities for, barriers against, and experiences of women in hockey.

One of the fantastic consequences of the widespread adoption of new media technologies has been the democratiziation of media production – and, in the case of hockey media, this has meant the emergence of new voices that have challenged traditional narratives, entrenched members of the mainstream media, and long-held ways of understanding the sport. It has also meant that hundreds of women, who were barely represented in hockey media, have had a public platform to demonstrate their brilliant insights about the sport, celebrate their fandom, and – perhaps most importantly – to highlight the many ways in which women continue to be marginalized, excluded, and ignored in various facets of hockey culture. There are too many pieces to link, but highlights include insights into to learning to play hockey in a physically aggressive manner, commentary on the lack of opportunity for elite women players, strong critique of CBC’s disastrous “While the Men Watch” broadcast in 2012 (here, here, and here), and criticism of gimmicky attempts to market the sport to women fans. The work of these bloggers has, I believe, helped create space for male allies to criticize sexism and misogyny in hockey culture and to call on all actors – including fans, media, teams, and leagues – to do better when it comes to gender equality.

It is in this spirit that, with the IIHF’s Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend upcoming, Hockey in Society will be running two pieces this week to offer diverse perspectives on women’s hockey in Canada and around the world. This blog has made women’s hockey a major area of focus since its inception, and is currently in the process of recruiting more female writers to broaden the diversity of voices represented on the site. Later in the week, we will run a new Hockey in Society Roundtable featuring insights from female bloggers, academics, and players about women’s and girls’ hockey. Meanwhile, in this initial post I have collected together some of the many pieces about women’s hockey and the role of women in hockey culture that have been posted here since Hockey in Society launched three years ago. If you missed them the first time around, I encourage you to check out some of the past pieces on these topics.

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Weekly Links: Lawsuit between Moore and Bertuzzi settled; Profile of Hobey Baker; Tension between traditional media and bloggers; Jamaican hockey; and more

Legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt

Legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • The lawsuit filed by Steve Moore, whose career was ended by Todd Bertuzzi, has been settled. Details of the settlement, however, will remain confidential. [Pro Hockey Talk]
  • An excellent piece on the life and times of Hobey Baker, a college standout in athletics. The annual Hobey Baker award is given to the top hockey player in NCAA. [Sports Illustrated]
  • A look back at the 1994 NHL lockout, including the events leading up to work stoppage and the key players involved. [Down Goes Brown]

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Weekly Links: Sexism in hockey media and fan groups; NHL expansion news and rumours; Ovechkin supports separatists in Ukraine?; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Alexander Ovechkin, who has a friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin, appears to be using social media to promote Russian propaganda and show his support the separatists in Ukraine. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
  • Jen Mac Rammos calls out hockey media for being a sexist and exclusionary boys’ club. A very important piece and a definite must-read. [Fear the Fin]
  • Two University of Ottawa hockey players have been charged with sexual assault, following an incident in February that led to the suspension of the entire team. This article situates the incident in a broader culture of sexual entitlement and rape that pervades many sporting and university environments. [The Star]
  • An interview with Mike Burse, a hockey writer who is working to bring the advanced stats movement to women’s hockey and the CWHL. [Hockey Wilderness]

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Weekly Links: P.K. Subban targeted by racist Tweets; Larry Kwong honoured at Hall of Fame; Shifts in body-checking since the 1970s; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Larry Kwong is considered to be the first man of colour to play in the NHL, having suited up for one shift with the New York Rangers in the 1947-48 season. He is being honoured by having a jersey from his days with the Nanaimo Clippers displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame. [Color of Hockey]
  • Avi Goldberg on notable issues surrounding Twitter during the NHL and NBA playoffs, including  a discussion of reaction to Ron Maclean’s comments about French Canadian referees on Hockey Night in Canada and the dangerous play of the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Cooke. [The Barnstormer]
  • PK Subban of the Montreal Canadiens was the target of racist tweets by Boston Bruins fans following Game 1 of the teams’ series, and his response to them has earned him praise from fans and journalists. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
  • Nick Cotsonika discusses the cultural significance of the Canadiens in Montreal and the passion of their fans. [Yahoo Sports!]

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An interview with Dr. Bruce Berglund, Editor of the Allrounder website and the New Books in Sports podcast

Dr. Bruce Berglund is a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and the Editor of the podcast/website New Books in Sports, which features interviews with authors about their recent sport books. Among the many interviewees are some people who may be familiar to hockey fans, such as Roy MacGregor and Todd Denault, as well as some academics who have at times published insightful commentary on hockey, such as Dr. Kevin Young (University of Calgary) and Dr. Mary Louise Adams (Queen’s University).

Dr. Berglund has recently launched a new venture: a sports website called the Allrounder. This website aims to bring together scholars to provide insight into and analysis of sport around the world [full disclosure: I will be an occasional contributor to the site]. He has assembled a diverse crew of writers with a variety of disciplinary, theoretical, and geographic foci. The Allrounder is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise initial operating costs to launch the site and pay its contributors.

After the jump, I have an interview with Dr. Berglund in which he explains the impetus behind New Books in Sports and the Allrounder, the present state of sports journalism and writing, and the significance of new media and the Internet for the production and dissemination of analysis about sport cultures around the world.

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