The gender of ice hockey: Perceptions of body and gender in ice hockey as cultural practice

In Swedish

Jesper Karlsson
The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm

The purpose of this article is to illuminate the media influence on the construction of perceptions regarding body and gender in ice hockey as a cultural practice. The empirical material analysed in the study was the journal Hockey distributed by the Swedish Ice Hockey Association (SIHA). The theoretical framework used to analyse the material is based on the perception of how bodies are produced through discursive practices in an historical materialisation process, and the framework of hegemonic masculinity theory. The theory on how bodies are materialised through discursive practices contributed to the investigation of how perceptions regarding the body and gender are created and produced through the media distribution from SIHA. The hegemonic masculinity theory contributed to the illumination of how norms regarding body and gender produce an image of the ice hockey player, an image that sets up a foundation that the other subjects inside the cultural practice has to relate to. The empirical material is based on the first eight issues of the journal Hockey distributed in 2015. The journal is the official magazine of SIHA and gives a wide insight in the culture of ice hockey. It represents many voices both on the national and the international scene. These voices contribute to the possibility of gaining an insight of the cultural practice of ice hockey. The results of the study show that the media distribution of SIHA contributes to produce normative ideals regarding bodies and gender in ice hockey as a cultural practice. To sum up the study one can say that the Swedish Ice hockey association through its media distribution helps to produce “truths” regarding bodies and gender that contributes to the hegemonic position that men have in ice hockey.

Get the full-text article in Swedish!

JESPER KARLSSON is a Master’s student in sport science at the Swedish School of Sports and Health Science. This article is a summary of an examination assignment within the course Sports, sex, and body at the Linnaeus University. A special thanks to Tobias Stark for all the valuable feedback.

Read more on about