America's athletic missionaries: The Olympic Games and the creation of a national culture, 1896-1936.
AuthorDyreson, Mark Sanford
KeywordsOlympics -- History.
Sports and state -- United States -- History.
Sports -- United States -- History.
Sports -- Social aspects -- United States -- History.
Sports and state -- History.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the late nineteenth century American reformers crafted a physical culture designed to help adjust their nation to the social changes fostered by industrialization, urbanization and immigration. The creators of modern sport considered athletics a "technology" for building a modern liberal civilization. Their "sporting republic" quickly gained a prominent place in American life. America's Athletic Missionaries examines the impact that United States participation in the Olympic Games, from 1896 to 1936, had on American culture. The idea of the sporting republic united politics and the strenuous life. In the Olympics Americans discovered a particularly rich environment for both athletic and political demonstrations. The architects of the sporting republic thought that sport could create livable urban environments, fight crime, promote democracy, Americanize the recently acquired empire, and assimilate immigrant populations. American Olympic teams earned the moniker of "America's athletic missionaries" for their performances at the first five Olympic Games. American Olympians enjoyed the active support of the political, business and academic elite. Lionized by the press and showered with public acclaim, the Olympians became symbols of the power of sport in channeling human energy in socially productive directions. During the 1920s the role of the sporting republic underwent a transformation. Sport, as had many other facets of Progressive reform, had been accepted as part of the orthodoxy of American values. But the political nature of sport changed. Abandoned by intellectuals who associated it with middle-class materialism, sport was increasingly cast as a form of escapism and disassociated from political action. The new version of sport became one of the totems of consumer culture. The press depicted the Olympic Games of the 1920s as sensational spectacles, without any significant political overtones. By the 1930s Americans had rediscovered the political uses of sport. Much of the world had come to view the Olympic Games as tests of national strength and many countries devoted great resources in the pursuit of athletic conquest. This study examines the relationship between political and physical culture, the uses of athletic ideology in the construction of American civilization, and the function of sport as a cultural tool.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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FACTORS RELATED TO THE FOUNDING AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIAL PURPOSE PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.RINCON, FRANK LEGLEU. (The University of Arizona., 1982)This study identified and examined individual, group, institutional, and other factors and conditions associated with the founding and development of private higher education institutions designed to serve religious groups, women, black Americans, native Americans, and Hispanic Americans. A number of distinct influencing social conditions were identified. Distinctness was due to different group needs and circumstances during certain American historical periods. Common social conditions found included need for culturally sensitive institutions, pervasiveness of religious interests in founding attempts, social exclusion and discrimination, population growth and urbanization, democratic opportunity, federal government pervasiveness, and social consciousness change. Fifty-four specific factors associated with the founding and development of institutions were identified. Analysis revealed many complex interrelationships among social, individual, group, institutional and other miscellaneous factors and conditions existing in collegiate institution founding and development efforts. These factors created many variables that could affect the success of the institutions. Forty-two of the fifty-four factors were judged to be important elements for those contemporarily considering founding collegiate institutions. General conclusions: (1) Institutions best able to deal with the many complex factors were most likely to succeed. (2) The more support and (3) confidence institutions could generate, the better their chances for survival. (4) Institutional and community cohesion were important in achieving permanency. (5) Many institutions were created because of perceived socio-economic, political, cultural, and educational inequities. (6) Social groups addressed higher educational needs after increased awareness of their social conditions. (7) Sociocultural differences existed in group approaches to provision of higher education. (8) Regarding effectiveness in founding, groups ranked as follows; religious groups, women, black Americans, native Americans, and Hispanic Americans. (9) Religious denominations were very involved in founding efforts for three of the groups studied, minimally involved with native Americans, least involved with Hispanic Americans. (10) Religious affiliated institutions generally served socio-economic and religious needs of constituents; this was not evident with the Roman Catholic Church and Hispanic Americans. (11) Educated leadership was essential in founding efforts. (12) High dissatisfaction with existing institutions prompted private founding attempts.