Gymnastics, a Transatlantic Movement: From Europe to America

1st Edition

Gertrud Pfister

Routledge
Published April 10, 2015
Reference
ISBN 9781138880597 - CAT# Y179926

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Summary

This book explores, analyses, and explains divergent ideologies and practices of gymnastics in selected European nations. It reconstructs the ex- and import processes from Europe to America and determines the processes, interrelationships and transformations of these "transatlantic movements" in their new home country. The book offers a more complete understanding of the role of gymnastics and expressive movements in cultural and ideological transmission over time and identifies the impact of these concepts on American physical education, sports systems and sports cultures.

The main focus of the book lies in the two decades before and after World War I. This concentration on a specific historical epoch allows us to identify parallel, but also different developments of the various forms of gymnastics and of the transfer and implementation processes.

The volume covers the transfer and impact of German Turnen, Czech Sokol and the Delsarte system in North America. In addition, it traces the influences of French gymnastics in South America and describes the tours of the world-renowned Danish gymnastic reformer Nils Bukh in both Americas. A focus will be the "import" of gymnastics, but also on the adaption processes of these different concepts and their integration into the American culture.

This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

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