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: 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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Weekly Links: KHL Expansion; Habs Legend Comments on Hockey Violence; Avalanche Goalie Arrested; Research on Concussions Among Youth; New Media in Sports Journalism

Source: The Province

Source: The Province

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 KHL is expanding to Finland, absorbing Helsinki-based club Jokerit from the SM-Liiga. This is a major step in the KHL’s expansion beyond the border of the former-USSR. [Puck Daddy]
  • USA Hockey is hosting the Try Hockey for Free Day on November 2, 2013. The program is encouraging youth aged 4-9 to visit a participating rink and learn more about the game. [USA Hockey]
  • Larry Robinson discusses the state of the game today and lack of respect players have for one another. Robinson has the option of re-joining the San Jose Sharks as an associate coach, but has yet to re-commit. [Mercury News]
  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He has since been released on bail and will stay with the Avalanche for now. [Denver Post] Read more of this post

Weekly Links: Boycotting the Sochi Games?; Ratner to redevelop Islanders’ arena; Devils get new ownership; Rick Rypien’s legacy

After a one year hiatus, Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post returns! 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!

  • Given the dangerous homophobic climate in Russia and the anti-gay legislation passed by Russian lawmakers, should hockey players and other athletes boycott the Sochi Games in 2014? Pierre Martin says that male hockey players should boycott the tournament while other athletes should attend. [Toronto Star]

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The Lockout Is Over: A Love Story Returns

Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go

While I may not fully agree with Michael Moore, I’m beginning this post with the same song as the opening song in his film Capitalism: A Love Story. I’ll substitute “NHL” instead of “Capitalism,” as it’s clear that the same love of the almighty dollar has shaped the dynamics of the NHL lockout. In his latest post “The Lockout Is Over: So Now What?” Matt Ventresca explores various fan initiatives of resistance such as the Just Drop It movement and furthermore discusses the psychological cognitive dissonance of these fans. I won’t regurgitate all of the content listed in his post or the wide selection of lockout response literature, but from what I gather, the prevailing narrative is that many hockey fanatics realize and regard the NHL as a profit-driven business. Thus, many of them want to punish the millionaires and billionaires responsible for the third lengthy work stoppage in 18 years.

Before I attempt to address the questions posed in the above blog post, I will briefly supplement a December blog post which posits that the majority of fans are definitely, definitely getting back together with the NHL. (Speaking of Taylor Swift, needless to say, her song “Love Story” complements this post well.) In my December blog post, I examined the Twitter follower statistics of prominent figures in the NHL lockout and argued that due to the steady growth of followers between September and December and spiked follower increases on days of optimism, both belligerents in the dispute can rest assured that the fans are assumed due to concerned and angry interest rather than apathy. I still stand by that argument, which in hindsight probably isn’t very original.

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“The Fans Are Assumed”: Why Wouldn’t They Be? A Look at Twitter

Then you come around again and say
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you.”
Oooh we called it off again last night
But oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you…

I hate to cut short the chart-topping Taylor Swift song or the “Official Song of the NHL Lockout” parody, but we are definitely, definitely getting back together. Or at least that’s what it seems like, judging from the piqued interests of those who had sworn off caring about professional hockey after the previous deep freezes in NHL collective bargaining negotiations. This post, by examining the Twitter buzz over the latest developments, in essence reinforces E. Martin Nolan’s post “The Fans Are Assumed.”

Of course, there’s no tool for social network comparison to the 2004/05 NHL season. It’s no surprise that with the advent of technological devices such as superphones and media platforms for user-generated tweets or status updates, media consumption has skyrocketed. Bruce Friend of Ipsos polling states (in 2010) that “more has changed in terms of media consumption behavior over the past two years than during the 30 years that preceded.” But when his article alludes to MySpace, you know the internet has changed even more. Whether or not we find them enriching, we stumble across more links to information than we have done so before.

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It’s Hockey in Society’s One-Year Anniversary!

This is just a cool picture (from: http:/

One year ago today, Hockey in Society launched with its inaugural post. The past 365 days have been a very exciting time on the blog, which has doubled from an initial writing crew of three to a group of six contributors and has seen 127 posts made. We hope to add to this writing crew in the coming year in order to expand our content and diversify the voices being represented on the blog.

I hope you, the reader, have found the blog to offer an insightful and original take on various social and political issues in hockey. All of us sincerely appreciate your readership and comments – please keep them coming in Year Two!

In addition to our readership, I would like to extend a big thank you to the many people on Twitter who shared our posts and to bloggers who linked to our website from their blog. The latter group includes Spector’s Hockey, Puck Buddys, Super Fan 2.0, Left Hook, Raw Charge, Lighthouse Hockey, Nucks Misconduct, Silver Sevens, and Puck Daddy. This site has grown in large part to this support and I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for this support from the hockey blogosphere.

After the jump, some stats about Year One at Hockey in Society and an overview of some of the best work from our contributors. Please check it out and enjoy!


Mark Norman

Editor, Hockey in Society

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