UBC Graduate Research

Tim Horton, Tim Hortons, and Hockey Night in Kandahar: Towards a Postmodern Canadian Imperialism Inniss, Scott


Graduate student conference held December 4-5, 2009 at the University of British Columbia. Panel 3: Spectators and Sporting Goods - The Social Psychology and Political Economy of Sports moderated by Guido Schenkel. Abstract: "For the last several decades, NHL hockey, the Tim Hortons doughnut chain, and Canada’s role as an international peacekeeper have all featured among the more enduring symbols of mainstream Canadian identity. Given the recent convergence, then, of these three “mythologies” (in Barthes’ sense of the term) as part of the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan, it becomes significant to consider the ways in which both sporting and ideological violence not only contribute to the political management of public opinion but also function as a means of generating support for Canadian military endeavors abroad. In light of recent media attention, it also becomes informative to locate these national icons as discursive sites around which various political and business actors attempt to refashion the Canadian imaginary for electoral and policy purposes. For, unlike many media players, I do not read the publicly and privately subsidized deployment of timbits and hockey trophies (respectively) to Central Asia as projecting a coherent and unified Canadian consciousness onto the global stage. Rather, I regard such egregiously artificial attempts at cultural synergy as gesturing to a profound (not to mention perennial) national anxiety." This presentation can be found at 00:22:37 - 00:44:30 in the recording.

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