English/French Canadian Differences in Types of Sport Participation: Testing the School Socialization Explanation

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 McMaster University
  • | 2 University of Waterloo
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Multivariate analyses are presented showing, for the mid-1970s, the comparative propensities of Canadian anglophones and francophones to participate in forms of competitive sport and sport outside the family. Presented are data consistent with the values-differences perspective, which holds that there are differences in orientation toward achievement and the family across the Canadian linguistic groups. The analyses focus on a test of a specification of the values-differences thesis—the school-socialization interpretation, which holds that sport involvement patterns result in part because of differences in how competitive sport is organized in the schools in French Canada versus English Canada. It was found that differences in competitive sport participation were smaller after controls for respondents’ experience with sport during the school years. However, there remained significant francophone/anglophone differences in orientation to competitive and extra-family sport after controls for the effects of school experience and other social background factors.

Philip White is with the Department of Physical Education, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1. James Curtis is with the Department of Sociology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1.

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