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Staging Sport

Dion Boucicault, the Victorian Spectacular Theatre, and the Manly Ideal

Shannon R. Smith

The following article discusses the way in which the sporting spectacular melodramas of Irish playwright and master of the genre Dion Boucicault presented theatre audiences of the 1860s with an incarnation of the sportsman that differed from other popular constructs of this figure in the Victorian popular imagination. If, following the changes to the sporting sphere brought about by the Industrial Revolution, public discourse often worked to craft a sportsman who was healthy and heroic, Boucicault's Flying Scud; or, a Four-Legged Fortune (1866) and Formosa, the Most Beautiful; or, The Railroad to Ruin (1869) present a critique of this ideal by placing the sportsman in situations that challenge and temporarily subdue his manly energies. The plays both illustrate the limits of the sportsman and offer audiences reformulations of the figure that are better able to cope with the increasingly problematic urban environment in which sport was taking place. When confronted with the challenges presented by the Victorian city, the sportsman may stumble, but he does not fall; in Boucicault's spectacular sporting melodramas he is a figure of resilience.

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Eric Anderson

There is a strong relationship between the cultural practices of competitive, organized youth sport and compulsory physical education. The hyper-masculine, violent, and homophobic culture traditionally found within boys segregated sporting spaces is mirrored when youth are compelled to participate in physical education. However, cultural homophobia is on rapid decline in Western countries. Recent research shows high school and university sport to be an increasingly inclusive environment for openly gay male youth. I explore this cultural shift among high school (sixth form) physical education students in England. Using three months of ethnography, and conducting 17 in-depth interviews with 16-18 year old ostensibly heterosexual boys, I show an absence of homophobia and homophobic discourse, the abatement of violence, the absence of a jock-ocratic school culture, and the emotional support of male friends. Thus, I show that while the structure of sport education has remained the same, the hyper-masculine culture surrounding it has changed.

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Industrialising Print, Sport, and Authorship

Nimrod, Surtees, and the New Sporting Magazine

Yuri Cowan

In the early Victorian period, sporting literature found a new audience among the young century's industrialists and prosperous merchants who, enabled by the growth of the railroads and increased access to the countryside, chose to use their increased leisure time to experience English rural life and to hobnob on equal terms, at least superficially, with the rural ancien régime. The New Sporting Magazine, established in 1831, positioned itself to speak both to the existing devotees of sport and to the middle-class audience which was about to make its presence felt in the field. The parallel refinement of English sport and its print discourse is described by and exemplified in the two best-known sport writers of the early Victorian era: Robert Smith Surtees and Charles Apperley ('Nimrod'). Surtees and Nimrod, though highly professional and well remunerated, habitually put forward their own work as 'correspondence', contributing to the illusion that the magazine was a playground for gentlemen of leisure. The careful blend of the conservative and modern in the New Sporting Magazine thus extends to its contributors as well: in this magazine's pages the eighteenth-century culture of the gentleman correspondent was beginning to merge with the culture of the paid celebrity author that would become such a force in the mass literary environment of the nineteenth century.

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Valerie R. Friesen

In many parts of the developing world, sport is a non-traditional activity for girls, one which is being used increasingly by development organizations for the empowerment of girls and women. However, very little research has been done on the complex subjective perceptions and understandings of the participants themselves. The girls in this study were participants in an after-school program in Windhoek, Namibia, which combines academics and sport. I used discourse analysis to highlight issues of agency, power, and gender that emerge from their reflections on their sport participation. Girls' conversations often revealed acceptance and normalization of dominant gender norms but also a growing critical consciousness, and demonstrated the numerous ways girls resist, negotiate and engage with these discourses through their own perceptions of power, agency, and hope.

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Jean-Paul Callède

L'œuvre de Durkheim permet de recenser différents ensembles d'activités cohérentes : le jeu au sens large, prédilection d'une longue tradition philosophique les jeux récréatifs, envisagés principalement dans les sociétés primitives ; les sports de compétition, notamment d'équipe ; l'éducation physique ; la participation associative, notamment estudiantine ou péri-scolaire. Des auteurs, qui sont identifiés comme appartenant à l'École durkheimienne, abordent eux aussi les thèmes liés du jeu et du sport. Il s'agit, d'une manière particulière, de Célestin Bouglé, Charles Lalo, Marcel Mauss et du 'médecin capitaine J. Escalier'. La présente étude porte sur cet intérêt, au demeurant mal connu, de Durkheim et de son groupe.

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Christopher Young

1972 saw the coming to fruition of two events of major importance to the Federal Republic of Germany under Willy Brandt's leadership: the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union and its satellites through the process of Ostpolitik, and the Munich Olympic Games, which were designed to present a new Germany on the world stage. Although recent scholarship has highlighted the intricacies of East-West diplomacy and the political machinations of Cold-War sports relations, there have been few attempts to investigate the latter's role in the former. This essay seeks to investigate sport in the context of politics, and more vitally vice versa. Focusing on events in the immediate run-up to the Four Powers Treaty on West Berlin in 1971, it shows how sport's appeal to broad sectors of public opinion in Eastern and Western Europe made it a prime candidate for the cultural warfare that accompanied political negotiations.

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“I Will Make You Understand”

Using Pictures to Explore Young Boys’ Sport Experiences

Deborah Agnew, Jennifer Fane, Murray Drummond and Philippa Henderson

The belief that sport can contribute positively to development is widespread ( Coakley 2011 ). Sport can provide an avenue for the development of motor and sport specific skills, and also of character through discipline, team work, responsibility

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Vasiliki P. Neofotistos

Using the Republic of North Macedonia as a case study, this article analyzes the processes through which national sports teams’ losing performance acquires a broad social and political significance. I explore claims to sporting victory as a direct product of political forces in countries located at the bottom of the global hierarchy that participate in a wider system of coercive rule, frequently referred to as empire. I also analyze how public celebrations of claimed sporting victories are intertwined with nation-building efforts, especially toward the global legitimization of a particular version of national history and heritage. The North Macedonia case provides a fruitful lens through which we can better understand unfolding sociopolitical developments, whereby imaginings of the global interlock with local interests and needs, in the Balkans and beyond.

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Boys, Inclusive Masculinities and Injury

Some Research Perspectives

Adam White and Stefan Robinson

Sport has traditionally been tasked with the social function of developing masculinity among boys and men in Western society ( Connell 2008 ; Mangan 2000 ). Through its homosocial and hypermasculine structure, sport was useful for the construction

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My Words, My Literacy

Tracking of and Teaching through the On-Field Language Practices of Australian Indigenous Boys

David Caldwell, Nayia Cominos and Katie Gloede

research areas: boys and literacy, Aboriginal boys and sport, Aboriginal literacy, and sociometrics. This is followed by the research questions, as well as a description of the project context and its participants. Next, we present a description of the