Canadian Sports in Early Twentieth Century Essay

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Sports have always been important part of Canadian identity and culture. Since the rapid growth of both amateur and professional sports in the beginning of the previous century, sports like hockey, basketball and curling became inseparable part of Canadian culture. The two books under review examine Canadian sports in twentieth century and the changes it went through in early twentieth century are Bruce Kidd’s, The Struggle for Canadian Sport (University of Toronto Press, 1996) and Colin D. Howell’s, Blood, Sweat, and cheers: sport and the making of modern Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2001). Howell argues that sport in twentieth century was “important in the construction of gender identities and in the shaping of ethnic, racial, regional and community allegiances“. Kidd however argues that “the particular transformations of this period have shaped the structure of Canadian sports as much as anything before or since.” Both authors believe that this time period in sports had formative influence not only on the sports culture but also on Canadian identity
Canadian sports went through major changes in the early twentieth century that eventually led to the modern Canadian sports as are known today. The two books explore the progress of Canadian sports through the examination of important issues as the shift from amateurism to professionalism in the interwar period, women’s rule in the evolution of Canadian sports with reference to 1920’s “Golden Age of women’s sport”, and finally the Christian churches support in Canadian sports as part of the “social gospel” policy. Examining these three issues through the authors’ arguments and especially the complex relationship between sports and gender construction will reveal how Canad...

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...ior to men’s sport. In addition, both believe that the economic uncertainty after the big depression had significant influence on the rapid rise of professional sport. The only aspect that both authors have different Perception as far as this essay examine is the intentions behind church support in sport. Kidd’s asserts that Christian support in sports came from the will to bring youth closer to religion while Howell’s argues that the goals of those programs was to keep lower class youth far from bad influence .the books succeed in showing that the history of sport in early twentieth century Canada is story of class and gender formation.

Works Cited

Howell, Colin D. Blood, sweat and cheers: sport and the making of modern Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
Kidd, Bruce. The struggle for Canadian sport. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996.

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