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Rough Ice: The Education and Labor of Young Male Ice Hockey Players in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, 1950-1980

Mountain, Alexandra (2019) Rough Ice: The Education and Labor of Young Male Ice Hockey Players in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, 1950-1980. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation is a three-part comparison of the youth ice hockey programs in Canada, the United States, and Sweden from 1950 to 1980. I argue that hockey is part of the coercive global sports system that developed in the latter half of the twentieth century. However; by using a comparative framework, my dissertation argues that the differences among the three youth hockey development models exposes a tension in how the young hockey players are treated over time. The increasing interactions among the three models forced the Canadian youth ice hockey system to reckon with its exploitative treatment of the young players, and further facilitated a shift in Canada, Sweden, and the United States towards the education and protection of the athletes.
During the 1950s international sporting competitions emerged as a vehicle to express the intense political ideological divisions. The geopolitical significance of ice hockey led to a series of initiatives in Canada, the United, and Sweden to promote the training of hockey players. While the Canadian system was the most nakedly exploitative, the increasingly political dimensions of international ice hockey competitions during the Cold War forced a moral reckoning of the Canadian Junior leagues, shifting the national focus to the education of Canadian players. Conversely, in the United States, education was the backbone of the development of young ice hockey players, with college hockey the main elite training program. However, college hockey struggled to balance the education of the Canadian players which filled the rosters with the political need to produce strong players who could compete on the national team. In Sweden, the new ideological concepts of the social democratic welfare state influenced the development of a more community-oriented, education-focused program that considered the health and wellbeing of the young players. Despite the differences in the American, Canadian and Swedish systems, by the late 1970s, each had a training program that emphasized the education the young players to varying degrees, in some attempt to protect the athletes from the increasingly global sports market.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mountain, Alexandraajm207@pitt.eduajm2070000-0001-7453-322X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRuck,
Committee MemberLara,
Committee MemberMolly,
Committee MemberAlison,
Date: 27 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 June 2019
Approval Date: 27 September 2019
Submission Date: 2 July 2019
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 277
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport history; labor history; cold war history; ice hockey
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 16:12
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:12


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