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Anarchist Values In The Movie Slap Shot

1025 words - 5 pages

The movie Slap Shot documented a minor league hockey team that is down on its luck. The Charlestown Chiefs are a losing Federal League hockey team whose games are poorly attended. In order to bring back fans, the team often participated in publicity stunts that were meant to fill the seats. As a means to renew local interest, the team resorted to playing gritty, hard-nosed hockey. This type of violence was meant to appeal to the working class of the city-Charlestown was a declining factory town and the fate of the hockey franchise was dependent upon the fate of the industry in the city. Eventually, their coach plays the Hanson’s and quickly discovers that their aggressive fighting style ...view middle of the document...

Charlestown, just like many other cities, was dependent upon the working class and was headed towards irreversible decline-the city was broke and the livelihoods of its inhabitants was up in the air.
Perhaps the best representation of these anarchist values are the three Hanson brothers. They were goons who played thuggish hockey at times. These characters represented the fight in the working class man and were a reflection of the enforcer role in hockey. Their job was to to deter violent play and respond with aggression. Like any great players, they always listened to their coach: when the coach instructed them to fight and play “old time hockey”, they did. Moreover, the Hanson brothers sense of anarchy defined them. An additional value Slap Shot exposed to the viewer is the notion that small town teams, even if unsuccessful, are instrumental in providing hope and preserving culture. Often, cities were built around these teams and their success went hand in hand. Sports was a way of life and allowed them to get through their day. Indeed, sports provided promise and relief from the everyday struggle. When the team was in talks to be sold, the potential ramifications on the city would have been crippling.
The values of Slap Shot still apply today as sports is essential to reinforcing social stratification. Sports is a mechanism to dictate societal norms and is a continual power struggle with some groups asserting dominance over others. Speaking to the broader values portrayed in Slap Shot, commitment, perseverance, and teamwork are still vital to sports culture and social culture today. The rebellious nature of Slap Shot is still seen in sport today. Many athletes are individualistic and express their attitudes and behaviors either in their play or in their conduct.
Slap Shot is a hybrid mix of hegemony theory and conflict theory. First, hegemony theory states four criteria: it assumes a dominant group sets the norms and rules; subordinate groups accept, reject, adopt, or adapt these rules; life is a continual power struggle; and a false perception of...

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