DWIVEDI: Tribalism, from the penalty box to the ballot box

Associate Professor of Psychology Veena Dwivedi wrote a piece recently published in The Hamilton Spectator that outlines how the same brain chemistry that keeps us tied to childhood favourite sports teams can foster the dangerous sense of “the other” in society.

Dwivedi writes:

I’ve been living in southern Ontario for more than a decade (having also lived in various parts of the USA and India), but I’m a Montrealer, born and raised.

Moving here required adjustments. I was surprised at how little French is spoken, had to get used to not doing a two-cheek kiss when meeting friends for dinner. But otherwise I’ve adjusted quite well.

Except for the Leafs. I’m a Habs fan. I cannot root for the Leafs. Their latest playoff stumble causes me no pain. You might say, “Hey! Leave your Habs behind, you immigrant! You’re in Ontario now, and you MUST root for them — otherwise you’re not ‘one of us’.” And you would be correct.

So, what am I holding on to? Besides being a Canadiens supporter I also work in the field of neuroscience, so I can tell you.

Growing up in Montreal in the ’70s, the Habs won the Stanley Cup. Over and over. The parade down St. Catherine Street was an expected ritual of spring. So, you could say it’s a great memory that I’m hanging on to. And you would be correct.

Continue reading the full article here.

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