Bruce Dowbiggn essay

In the book written by Bruce Dowbiggn, the stick is taken to represent hockey and hockey forms an iconic symbol of Canada as a country. Hockey is a concrete evidence of Canadian culture which provides a link to their history. The stick always mirror something definitely Canadian. The stick has become a cyber invention in the modern world which has led to its globalization. As Bruce illustrate the stick is in many ways a representation of the Canadian culture. Bruce simply takes us through the evolution history of the hockey stick. The stick has developed from wood to more modern equipment such as graphite composite.

He sees the stick as weapon used in games mostly the hockey (Bruce, 2001). Hockey can be perceived as a type of game that is based on show of physical prowess and male union. In Canada, hockey game is taken to mean more than a game; it is their approach to life. In his essays on Hockey game in Canada, he looks at how the game has revealed itself on important issue facing Canada in the past and at present. He is looking into problems such as racism, globalization and Anti-Americanism. For example, Hockey game in Canada has led to western alienation against southern Ontario’s supremacy of the country.

The Quebec separatists uses hockey as a device to press on their political and social grounds while dragging the rest of the country into unnecessary discussions. Dowbiggin assert that Canadians uses hockey to advance Anti-Americanism. Canadians embrace violence in hockey although they point a condemning finger to their neighbor in the south. There should be a ban on extreme use of violence as it has led to permanent head and brain damage. However, some have argued that such a shift would hurt the game. Most players are reported to have been affected by the post- concussion syndrome.

Canadians perceive themselves in two conflicting hockey folklore; Wayne Gretzky and Don Cherry, but in authenticity they are no where close to them. There are several themes brought up in the book ‘Hockey Night in Canada’; the differences between low and high cultures, the unwillingness of Canadians scholar to acknowledge hockey as a legal cultural figure in spite of its fame (Gruneau, and Whitson, 1993). This book view games as a spot of cultural consultation and struggle among the powerful and powerless groups. Hockey has led to development of industrial capitalism.

Canadians have used hockey to advance their personal interest at the expense of others. It is feared that if the trend continue, hockey as a game will interfere with creation of a just and democratic society. The book gives us an overview of the insinuation of the sport in our culture. It looks into issues of violence, customs, gender, and the role of media and the penalty of globalization on sports. Sport has gone through significant changes in it culture which includes the composition of its player in terms of race and tribe, position of games and the way the game is broadcasted.

The game is played more vulgarly. There are changes in the rules and regulations that direct the game. Theses changes are credited to globalization and expansion in US. However, the game is still selective in nature and single out women even today. Women continue to be locked out of the hockey game because of its residential rules. The rules guiding the playing of hockey are still the same for men together with women. The only difference is that women’s hockey ban deliberate body-checking that is to taking out an opposing player.

It has been observed that there is increasing body contact in women hockey even today either on purpose or by mistake. Prohibition of body-checking in women hockey lay emphasis on speed, strategy and playing skills where as a full body contact game is based on power and force. The difference between these two is relative in nature in that with or without body checking hockey is a game of strength and skill. Body checking only changes the balance while all the other elements of the game remain significant (Etue, and William, (1996). The book ‘On the Edge’ provides a vivid view on the business and politics of women in hockey.

The attempt by women to secure a place in hockey has been manifested by much effort. Women have been experiencing problems in getting access to the ice hockey arenas. Women are lowly involved in hockey as compared to men. Gender equality has received much consideration in various sports including hockey in modern times. There is a call for better training for players, coaches and officials. There is also provision of improved materials conditions and medical support. All these efforts are directed toward legalization of women’s hockey.

This has led to prohibition of body-checking, reduction in emphasis for wining and stress the enjoyment of participation (Bruce, 2001). However, with globalization of hockey, the prohibition of body-checking is becoming a challenge with some counties arguing for the enclosure of body-checking in women hockey. Advocates of the rule change are said to be in the countries where development lags behind especially in Canada and United States. Those who are opposed to the change argue that insertion of body-checking slow down the game and reduce the advantage of stronger teams whereas it gives an advantage to the weaker teams.

Michael Robidoux and Pierre Trudel looks into the discussion about younger kids and body-checking in hockey. They argue that the romanticization of hockey has failed to provide a condusive environment for younger kids to play hockey. They are some body injuries and risks associated with body checking in younger children. The poems found in the book ‘The Hockey Player Sonnets’ by John lee are mythical not just because they attribute hockey to divine intercession, but rather because they contribute to forming a man-made spiritual world, a religion of hockey for Canada (Lee, 1995).

They are a system of traditional stories which clarify the underlying principle for their social traditions and observances. Lee illustrate clearly that the tradition of hockey is of male mythology despite that women have tried to join it for quite some time. This mythology of male in the game of hockey is fashioned by men themselves. They assert that the task of these women is based at home. Most young people in Canada have stayed way from hockey due to the gender and racial segregation associated with it.

Ice hockey privileges white males through discourse and practice while the media focus more on national victory achieved by men. Hockey game has become highly commercialized in Canada. The media is getting a lot of revenue from advertising hockey game. Hockey game is becoming a popular culture in Canada creating an enormous market. It is the leading type of entertainment and more people are participating in it during their free time. Hockey game remains one of the most highly rated programs in Canadian television and the oldest sport-related television program on air.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has prolonged its broadcasting agreement with the National Hockey Team through 2013-2014 seasons (Bruce, 2001). The shift from live audiences to live broadcasting has led to Globalization of hockey. It has become very hard to maintain the myth that hockey represent the factual Canadian identity as it has become more and more subjected to the imperatives of the international entertainment market and hence lost its value in the Canadian culture. It if feared that hockey may be similar to soccer where national opinions are held internationally rather than nationally.Hence, hockey no longer represents the natural Canadian culture but rather it is an artificial ice (Lee, 1995).


Bruce, D. (2001). The Stick: A the past, a Commemoration, a Dirge. Georgia: Garamond University Press. Etue, E. and William, K. (1996). On the Edge: Women in the Record of Hockey. Toronto: Harper Collins. Gruneau, R. and Whitson, D. (1993). Hockey Night in Canada: Games, Characteristics, and cultural Politics. Toronto: Garamond Press. Lee, J. (1995). The Hockey Player. Ontario: Garamond Press.