Chapter

The Uses of Sport and Physical Culture in Mass Politics Mobilizing the ‘New Man’, 1918–1934

Joan Tumblety

in Remaking the Male Body

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695577.003.0005
The Uses of Sport and Physical Culture in Mass Politics Mobilizing the ‘New Man’, 1918–1934

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This chapter focuses on the place of physical training and athletic manly ideals in the new radical populist political formations that emerged on the extreme left and right after 1920. Movements on the radical right, such as the Faisceau and Jeunesses Patriotes, as well as on the communist left, enlisted the genres of sport and physical culture in their desire to mobilize male youth. This was a strategy for increasing recruitment by drawing on the popularity of sport in the wider culture. But it was also part of an attempt to make real their preferred social vision through the discursive creation of an athleticized and martial ‘new man’ instilled with values of the movement. Indeed, the chapter also considers how these organizations used physical training in order to prepare shock troops for the frequent violence and street-fighting of the era.

Keywords: martial manhood; radical politics; new man; radical right; communist left; shock troops

Chapter.  18474 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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