The Canadian Journal of Sociology
This paper examines the symbolic or expressive dimension to illegal assaults among players in ice hockey. Based upon the author's qualitative field research in Toronto and Indianapolis, a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence is proposed to account for the fact that players distinguish the fist-fight in ice hockey from other violent acts. The fist-fight is formulated as a social ritual involving respect and honor among players to explain this fact, qualities which are absent in other types of assaults. Some of what has been labeled by previous researchers as hockey violence, it is suggested, should be viewed as an informal mode of social control among players that has a moderating effect upon the commission of more serious assaults between players.
This article was originally published in Canadian Journal of Sociology, 1985, Volume 10, Issue 2.
Colburn, Kenneth, "Honor, Ritual and Violence in Ice Hockey" The Canadian Journal of Sociology / (1985): 153-170.
Available at http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/601