The production of docility in professional ice hockey

Andre Michael Andrijiw, Luke Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social relations and practices that imbue the sport of ice hockey have prompted severallimiting and problematic outcomes for athletes. Concerned by such outcomes, and informedby the anatomo-politics of French poststructuralist philosopher Michel Foucault (1991), anexamination into the relations of power that govern North American professional ice hockey was undertaken. The examination revealed that athletes were routinely subject to disciplinary power and a commonplace set of practices that closely resemble Foucault’s (1991) ‘means of correct training’: managers, in partnership with coaches under their remit, choreographed and engaged in constant supervision (e.g., scouting and monitoring), organized highly ritualized examinations (e.g., combines, training camps), rewarded conformity (e.g., contractual benefits), and punished deviance (e.g., inter- and intra-team reassignments).These practices were additionally undergirded by clearly identifiable panoptic arrangements that stretched across the athletic lifespan. Ultimately, the observed workings of disciplinary power served not the development of a whole individual, but rather the production of docility.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages15
JournalJADE Journal of Athlete Development and Experience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023


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