In response to the widely publicized passions that Canadians have for the sport of hockey, this thesis examines passion for a sport from an ethnographic perspective. I observed daily practices and engagements with the sport throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and suggest that hockey is important to individuals because of the relationships that hockey espouses. Through interviews, participant observation, and conversations, I was able to understand how discourses inform behaviours regarding hockey practices, and how hockey can be used discursively to encourage social relationships. These relationships encompass both real and imagined communities, with shared discourses as the indicators of belonging. Talking, playing, organizing, and watching hockey comprise four different, yet overlapping engagements that are revealed to have implications in the creation and maintenance of discursive communities. Passion is found to be a malleable, contextually contingent term that applies to a range of experiences, attitudes, and practices regarding hockey.
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Thesis advisor: Dyck, Noel
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