Social Marketing: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives

By Marvin E. Goldberg; Martin Fishbein et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 19
Reducing the Level of Violence in Hockey

Marvin E. Goldberg
Pennsylvania State University

Ozlem Sandikci
Pennsylvania State University

David Litvack
University of Ottawa


ABSTRACT

This chapter aims to provide a basic understanding of the sources and causes of violence in hockey and offers possible ways to reduce it. First, the relation between violence in society and violence in sports is examined and its implications for the case of hockey are discussed. Various determinants of hockey violence are reviewed. The remaining section focuses on the question of how the level of violence in hockey can be reduced and offers a three-prong strategy that draws mainly from social learning theory ( Bandura, 1973, 1986) and dyadic processes leading to behavior change. Examples are drawn from an ongoing "Fair Play" campaign in Canada that is intended to reduce violence in hockey and in sports in general. Although player and spectator violence are interrelated components of violence in sports, this chapter focuses on player violence.

There is not much question that violence has become a central concern in late 20th-century America. Interestingly, however, violence in sports traditionally has been invested with an aura of legitimacy and has tended to be viewed as something other than "real" violence. Social norms and laws specifying what constitutes acceptable conduct in society are temporarily suspended under the umbrella of sport ( Russell, 1993; Smith, 1975, 1983). This seems to be true even for "extreme fighting"--a combination of boxing, wrestling, and martial arts--which, with very few rules to control the use of excessive violence, often devolves into "free-for-all bloody brawls" ( Barry, 1995, p. B3). Responsibility for enforcing rules and sanctions rests with the

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