Sport and Status
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What was the role of social class in sport? Did the sociability of the club-house provide an arena free from discrimination where a man could cross the class divide and establish bonds of friendship with fellow sportsmen? Or was it rather the case that good fellowship tended to be confined to those of broadly similar status? Instead of helping to break down class barriers, perhaps sport actually confirmed and added a new subtlety to social divisions. The fact that a great many sportsmen were sensitive to questions of status has already emerged in the preceding case-studies of individual sports. What have not yet been discussed are the general issues of prestige and popularity in sport. What strains were imposed by the rapid democratising of hitherto restricted activities, and how did conflicts arise between the followers of different sports or amongst devotees of the same sport?
KeywordsNineteenth Century Sport Club Tennis Player Lower Middle Class Athletic Sport
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