Rugby Union football in the land of the Wallabies, 1874-1949: same game, different ethos

Horton, Peter A. (2009) Rugby Union football in the land of the Wallabies, 1874-1949: same game, different ethos. International Journal of the History of Sport, 26 (11). pp. 1611-1629.

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Abstract

Football as a generic game-form was a feature of the sporting culture of the settlers of Australia. As the various codes emerged in Britain they were 'exported' to the colonies throughout the Empire. In Australia this cultural imposition was not complete for the British games faced significant cultural resistance, most notably from Australian Rules football. The first formal club was founded circa 1865 and by the time a governing body was formed in 1874, the game had acquired distinctive playing and administrative traits and a sporting ethos, These were aberrant to the British form as pragmatic modifications were made in response to the social, cultural and environmental exigencies and demands of the frontier-like context: the game of Rugby immediately became Australianized. This analysis traces the development of the game's culture in Australia through the initial 75 years of its institutionalization and demonstrates that despite its transit through the colonial era, urbanization, nationalism, federation and the travails of two World Wars, aspects of the residual culture remained. Rugby football, established in NSW and Queensland as a feature of the cultural hegemony of British Imperialism, prevailed largely unchanged in terms of power relations, ideology, finances and success over its first 75 years. This discussion reflects upon the critical influences, incidents and individuals that impacted upon and shaped Rugby union football in NSW and Queensland up to the founding of the Australian Rugby Football Union, which took until 1949 to occur.

Item ID: 5561
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Rugby Union football, Australia, Wallabies, culture/ethos
ISSN: 1743-9035
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009 23:59
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 20%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 80%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 80%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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