Media, Culture, and the Meanings of Hockey
This essay describes a plan for investigating the cultural meanings of hockey in Canada by examining media narratives of high-level amateur and professional hockey during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, this project analyzes English Canadian newspaper coverage of Stanley Cup games between 1894 and 1907, as well as the telegraph reconstructions that enabled fans to share a simultaneous experience of distant games. Media coverage of hockey brought Canadians into local and national communities of interest, while constructing narratives of manhood, regional rivalry, and civic pride. Hockey played a significant role in the construction of gender and class identities, and in debates about amateurism, professionalism, and community representation in sport. By exploring key issues related to media, gender, and community identities in early hockey, this research addresses important gaps in the study of sport history and the analysis of sport and Canadian popular culture.