Power-play : critical considerations of the meaningful universe of professional hockey

Robidoux, Michael A. (1999) Power-play : critical considerations of the meaningful universe of professional hockey. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Professional hockey is an industry teeming with paradox: it is a game that is worked; it involves men behaving as boys; and it is where professional development inhibits personal growth. This seven month ethnographic investigation of a professional hockey team enabled me to observe players in their working environment and the manner in which they express themselves in the labour process. The study illustrates that individual success depends on players devoting themselves entirely to the "game" and to their "team," and thus, players voluntarily accede to a system whereby their own labour power is exploited for capitalist gain. It is evident that players are cognizant of their unfavourable predicament within the labour process-which is generally dismissed as being "part of the job"-but they respond accordingly by constructing their own system of meanings within the workplace, allowing them the sensations of power and dominance. -- It is this system of meanings, or this "constructed universe" that is significant, as it serves to create and perpetuate both occupational and personal identities. By constructing this sphere outside of the corporate hegemony, the players have established an exclusive domain where existing behavioural patterns dictate "norms" within the "world of hockey." These norms draw from a physically superior, white, heterosexual male model which discriminates against all other experience: whether it be in terms of ethnicity, gender, class, occupation, or any other classification. As a result, the process of empowerment is essentially a reductive force in the players' lives, undermining any substantial challenge to their compromised position within this occupational community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9301
Item ID: 9301
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 358-374.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hockey--Canada--Sociological aspects; Hockey players--Canada; Sports--Anthropological aspects--Canada

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