Janelle Joseph, Simon Darnell, and Yuka Nakamura, Eds. Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities

By Douglas, Delia D. | Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Fall 2014 | Go to article overview

Janelle Joseph, Simon Darnell, and Yuka Nakamura, Eds. Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities


Douglas, Delia D., Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal


Janelle Joseph, Simon Darnell, and Yuka Nakamura, eds. Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2012. 302 pp. 34.95 sc.

This anthology signals an important intervention into an area of study that has long been marginalized, namely the significance of race and the politics of racism in sport and physical cultures in Canada. As Joseph, Darnell and Nakamura explain in their introduction, the existence of a multicultural policy and the fact of Canada's racial diversity are readily understood as evidence that the country is inclusive and therefore immune to racial inequality and racism. The editors make explicit that race thinking and race making were integral to the colonial project, and they describe how race is a social construct whose material effects continue to influence the character and structure of contemporary Canadian society. They also note that articulations of race have been fundamental to the development of modern sport; an embodied practice, sport is a site through which major cultural and political debates about identity, belonging and citizenship occur and whose influence extends beyond its very borders. The materials explore a number of geographic sites, some of which include Nova Scotia, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, and Vancouver. The chapters cover a variety of activities such as hockey, baseball, football, Brazilian capoeira, cricket, track and field and nine-man volleyball. Overall the essays are accessible and the questions for critical thought are a helpful tool. For those seeking a Canadian perspective the anthology will prove informative to both the general public and to undergraduate students.

The book is divided into three sections. The first considers historical approaches to the study of race and sport; of interest are the experiences of men in the early part of the 20th century and the role that sport and physical activity played in fulfilling the promise and possibility of belonging to the Canadian nation. The topics covered include the early immigration of Ukrainian and Icelandic communities; the history of black football players in the CFL; hockey and the reproduction of colonialism in Canada; and the "stacking" of Aboriginal players into the role of enforcer in the N JJL.

The second section examines Canadian immigration and the study of race and sport. These essays offer key insights into an area where the gap in the literature is exceptionally profound, namely the experiences of Aboriginal and racialized female athletes. The subjects of study include new Chinese immigrant women's access to and experience of physical activity, and the structure and operation of federal and provincial sport delivery systems and the issue of accessibility for new Canadians.

The third section concerns the study of race and sport beyond Canada's borders. …

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