Rugby and the South African Nation: Sport, Cultures, Politics, and Power in the Old and New South Africas

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Manchester University Press, 1998 - History - 163 pages

Rugby and the South African Nationexplores the complex and controversial role of rugby union in the politics and cultures of South Africa, from its emergence as a settler dominion in the early twentieth century through to the post-apartheid era. Conventional historical and political analyses of South Africa have frequently neglected the vital role of sport in general, and rugby in particular, in this fascinating society. This book seeks to fill this gap through a critical interpretation of rugby’s role in the development of white society, its virtually ignored role in African communities, its role in shaping significant social divisions and its centrality to the apartheid era “power elite.” It also considers the powerful influence of international rugby in forging a racist “national’ identity.” Finally, it examines the varying meanings attached to rugby in the new South Africa from broad euphoria to a more narrow nostalgic appeal for many white rugby supporters with particular emphasis on the 1995 Rugby World Cup hosted and won by South Africa.

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Sport culture and politics
Making imperial men the emergence of white rugby in South Africa
Black rugby and sports sporting ideologies and racial politics

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About the author (1998)

David Black is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

John Naurightis Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies, Department of Human Movement, The University of Queensland.

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