Had Less Appeal Than Soccer Or Rugby?

During the discussions generated by the various contributions, the problem of “interpretation” did not fail to arise. To the traditional opposition between a history focusing on “facts” (supposedly proven) and an anthropology more concern with “suppositions” (whose relevance is inherently problematic), it has generally been answer that the “facts” on which historians were themselves construct in a very interpretive way. From this point of view in any case, the “field” of anthropologists is hardly different from that of historians.

Matt Taylor’s contribution provides an illustration of this:

Questioning a commonly accepted historical interpretation of the failure to establish soccer in the United States (based on the analysis of a brief period. Not exceeding the 1870s and the particular moment when a university elite came out in favor of rules closer to those of rugby than those of soccer). The author shows that we manage to a better understanding of this failure if we consider a longer periodization which makes it possible to consider the role of successive waves of immigrants coming from different parts of Europe; the diversity of these sporting experiences set in motion a process of successive transformations of established in the United States. Reinforced by the links maintained by immigrants with their country of origin. Rather than emphasizing the “failure” of soccer, it is worth emphasizing the richness of its local manifestations which,

In other words

Whether it is an anthropological, historical or sociological approach. And whatever the theoretical and methodological presuppositions that underlie each of them. We are ultimately dealing with a competition between “narratives”. This narrative dimension is redouble when the analysis takes colonial rhetoric relating to the sporting question as material for reflection, as propose by Philip Dine’s contribution. Based on two “narratives” of horse races written in 1852. One from the prefecture of Oran and the other from the correspondent of a newspaper in Algiers.

It stages a discursive construction of the sporting nation. Which shows how sport was able to serve, in this specific colonial context, as a integrative propaganda tool. Not only is the colonized considered capable of assimilating European sporting values. But he is also supposed to participate effectively in their dissemination. Thus was constructed a “reading grid of the colonial encounter” which contributed. To lastingly structure the respective sporting statuses of the protagonists.

To this end

 The author mobilizes the narratological method developed in the colonial context by David Spurr [1993] and which, combined with ethnographic investigation and makes it possible to account as closely as possible for otherness and cultural differences. A “reading grid of the colonial encounter” is construct. Which has contribute to durably structuring the respective sporting statuses of the protagonists. To this end, the author mobilizes the narratological method developed in the colonial context by David Spurr [1993] and which, combined with ethnographic investigation and makes it possible to account as closely as possible for otherness and cultural differences.

A “reading grid of the colonial encounter” is construct. Which has contribute to durably structuring the respective sporting statuses of the protagonists. To this end, the author mobilizes the narratological method developed in the colonial context by David Spur [1993] and which, combined with ethnographic investigation and makes it possible to account as closely as possible for otherness and cultural differences. 

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