A professional game for gentlemen: rugby union's transformation

Zakus, Dwight , and Horton, Peter A. (2007) A professional game for gentlemen: rugby union's transformation. In: Stewart, Bob, (ed.) The Games Are Not the Same: the political economy of football in Australia. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 142-197.

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Rugby union football or 'rugby' as it is normally referred to in Australia, is said to be the 'game played in heaven'. Given the body contact and violence built into the game, this reference to the afterworld seems plausible. It is also a contradiction, as one would not usually associate rugby and heaven in the same thought. Rugby is above all, though, a game of the players. This is the central element of rugby's traditional culture of amateurism and anti-commercialisation, and was why rugby was the last football code to become professional.

Lincoln Allison argues that 1895 marked the beginning of the domination of world sport by the amateur hegemony of sport, for not only did professional rugby emerge that year, but it also marked the culmination of Pierre de Coubertin's efforts to re-establish the Olympic Games. For the next seventy-seven years the Olympic movement stridently defended and promoted, albeit hypocritically, the amateur ethos of sport; the International Rugby Board (IRB), however, held out for another eighteen years before it succumbed to the corporatisation of sport driven by the forces of globalisation.

Item ID: 5588
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-522-85366-7
Keywords: sociological studies; historical studies
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Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 03:21
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 70%
13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 60%
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