ELLIOTT, R. and MAGUIRE, J., 2008. Getting caught in the net: examining the recruitment of Canadian players in British professional ice hockey. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 32 (2), pp.158-176.
This article is a study of global athletic labor migration that examines the mechanisms
through which some athletic migrant workers are recruited. The article adopts a critical
case study which analyses the movement of Canadian workers into Britain’s Elite Ice
Hockey League (EIHL) and synthesizes concepts derived from the sociology of sport and
the sociology of highly skilled migration to explain these movements. Using a theoretical
framework based on a figurational or process sociological approach, the article shows that
the recruitment of migrant workers to EIHL teams need not be facilitated by a formal
mediator such as an agent. Instead, informal communicative “friends-of-friends” networks
and “bridgehead” contacts more commonly facilitate flows of information to the potential
employer and potential migrant employee. Accordingly, mutually beneficial recruitments
can be seen to be occurring as the result of human mediation facilitated by a series of informal
interdependent networks of social relationships.