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‘The Dynamics of the Disc:’ Ultimate (Frisbee), Community, & Memory, 1968-2011


‘The Dynamics of the Disc:’ Ultimate (Frisbee), Community, & Memory, 1968-2011

Pattison, Lindsay (2011) ‘The Dynamics of the Disc:’ Ultimate (Frisbee), Community, & Memory, 1968-2011. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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‘The Dynamics of the Disc’ is an oral history project that makes an important contribution to an under-researched area of Canadian sport history. Using a variety of analytical approaches this study traces the growth and development of the sport of Ultimate in Canada. And by examining the thematic links between and across stories told by Ultimate players, it provides a nuanced understanding of what Ultimate means to the people who play.
Ultimate has rapidly evolved into a worldwide competitive amateur sport, and enjoyed exponential growth as a popular recreational game that is currently played in organized leagues in most major urban centres across North America by men, women, and youth. Often described as an alternative sport, Ultimate also prides itself on a (real or imagined) difference from mainstream sporting conventions. Ultimate is, therefore, subject to two over-arching, and sometimes conflicting, narratives -- a postmodern narrative of difference, and a liberal narrative of growth and progress – that players struggle to reconcile.
Yet to many of the people who play, Ultimate is more than a sport, it is a community. Ultimate players form strong attachments to the game, but also to its spaces and places, ideas and practices, and to the people with whom they share their experiences. Through the use of narrative, myth, ritual, symbol, performance and commemoration, this community articulates its difference and celebrates its accomplishments while simultaneously policing its boundaries and disciplining its members. Looking at sport through the lens of community reveals that sport is not just about the human body at play but can also be a site where powerful feelings of belonging converge.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Pattison, Lindsay
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:6 September 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):High, Steven
Keywords:Ultimate, community, Canadian Ultimate Players' Association, Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association, Ultimate Parks, Inc., Association de Ultimate de Montreal, commemoration, halls of fame
ID Code:15182
Deposited On:22 Nov 2011 13:41
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:35
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