Hockey Night In Toronto - Representations of Liminality and Violence
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I lived in Toronto for six months and consumed as much hockey as possible. I spent most of the time in various hockey bars and at Ricoh Coliseum where the Toronto Marlies play their games. My first intention was to get inside a hockey club, but since I soon would learn that my ambitions was a bit over my head I settled for presence in the large hockey community that exists in Toronto. I could literally find people that were open and interested to talk about hockey everywhere. The focus in this thesis is hence the social aspects of consuming hockey, whether it´s watching hockey games in a bar, or at the arena. The social drama at hockey games is one particular interest. For instance I discovered a form of nonverbal communication that exists between players and spectators. This communicative experience is usually created through actions or situations that happen between players on the ice. Take the fighting for instance. In every game I watched were a fight occurred, the crowd become louder and clearly paid attention to what happen on the ice. A sure sign of a social commitment, a hidden bond or something similar, which makes it all more intense. Furthermore, hockey games seems to create an opportunity for a special atmosphere that separates it from other parts of social life. A prove of a liminal stage with losses of structure where peoples can experience something they might not be able to elsewhere (Turner 1988). This paper seeks to understand why hockey is relevant, and why it’s moving, provoking and engaging big crowds.