Gender, Sport, and the Construction of Community: A Case Study from Women’s Ice Hockey

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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Nancy Theberge University of Waterloo

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This paper examines the construction of community on a women’s ice hockey team. The analysis is based on fieldwork and interviews with an elite-level team. Within an organizational context in which men play central roles in the management of team affairs and the circle of team supporters, the dressing room provides a space where players come together as hockey players and as women. The analysis suggests that the construction of community on a woman’s hockey team is grounded in members’ shared identity as hockey players and their commitment to the sport. This common focus and interest unite women from diverse backgrounds and social locations.

Nancy Theberge is with the Departments of Kinesiology and Sociology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1.

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