Master of Arts
This thesis examined the landscape of women’s hockey in Canada, and focused on the national women’s hockey team, and how the treatment of female hockey players in the Canadian media, and in the eyes of the Canadian public, differs from the treatment of male hockey players. This thesis drew on three different research methods: an ethical/philosophical analysis, a media analysis and a narrative analysis.
The ethical analysis took a philosophical approach and discussed the different rules in men’s and women’s hockey. The ethical analysis also discussed other issues in hockey such as paternalism versus free will, and gender segregation in sport. The media analysis consisted of a content analysis centering on major Canadian newspapers published over the last 29 years, in order to see how these newspapers viewed female hockey players and women’s hockey in general. Finally, this thesis included a narrative analysis. The narrative analysis consisted of two separate types of narratives: a story analyst approach; and a personal narrative approach. The story analyst approach acted as a continuation of the media analysis and examined key themes and ideas from the media analysis and created a story from those data. The personal experience narrative was told from the first person. In this section, I added to the narrative surrounding women’s hockey in Canada by contributing my own stories from ten years of playing competitive girls’ hockey in the Greater Toronto Area.
Summary for Lay Audience
As a former competitive hockey player, I wanted to examine the overall treatment of Canadian female hockey players compared to their male counterparts. This Master’s thesis took a multidisciplinary approach, drawing upon key philosophical, sociological and feminist constructs. It used an ethical analysis (analytical analysis), a media content analysis and a narrative analysis. In particular, much of this thesis is dedicated to an exploration of the ideals of John Stuart Mill, a prominent 19th century British philosopher. His ethical concepts of Utilitarianism and Liberty are applicable to sports, and to hockey in particular. Overall, this thesis analyzed Canada's national sport using a variety of qualitative research methods not typically brought together in a single research study. It demonstrated the unequal treatment of women in hockey and evaluated the current state of the women’s game in Canada.
Bishop, Rachael, "No Coward Plays Hockey" (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6575.