“It's only sport” - the symbolic neutralization of “violence”

Matthews, C.R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8561-2863 and Channon, A., 2016. “It's only sport” - the symbolic neutralization of “violence”. Symbolic Interaction, 39 (4), pp. 557-576. ISSN 0195-6086

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Within the commodified world of professional ice hockey, athletes sell their bodily performances in return for a salary. A central feature of this transaction is the very real risk of physical injury – a risk inherent within most contact sports, but particularly so within those that feature seemingly ‘violent’ confrontations between competitors, as ice hockey is widely reputed to do. Yet within the spectacle of sport, where physicality can be constructed as playful and unserious, it is possible for the consequences of such action to be concealed behind a symbolic, ludic veneer. Within this paper we explore this process with a particular focus on ice hockey spectators, for whom notions of sport violence as in some important way ‘mimetic’ of the ‘real’ enabled their propensity to both enjoy, and find moral validation through, potentially deleterious behaviours among athletes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Symbolic Interaction
Creators: Matthews, C.R. and Channon, A.
Publisher: Wiley for the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
Date: November 2016
Volume: 39
Number: 4
ISSN: 0195-6086
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 28 Sep 2017 13:21
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 13:21
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31737

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