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Gymnastik åt alla?: Propaganda, kropp och medborgerliga visioner i den svenska gymnastikrörelsen på 30-talet
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis argues that the Swedish Gymnsatics League during the 1930’s articulated, what in previous research has been called a citizenship project. This citizenship project was formulated against the backdrop of the widely held gymnastic ideological belief about a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. In the historical context regarding the contemporary problem concerning the qualitative issue of the people, the gymnasts formulated gymnastics as an activity, aimed to produce an ideal, healthy citizen. In 1934, the Swedish gymnastics started a propaganda organization called National Society for promotion of Gymnastics (Riksföreningen för gymnastikens främjande) and its yearbook. The organization aimed to educate, and convince the Swedish population with the ultimate objective to make them active participants, and practitioners in gymnastic body culture. I argue that the gymnasts, through propaganda media as the yearbook, and the gymnastics display, addressed audiences as civic publics, with the potential of, though gymnastics, obtain properties connected to the idea of the ideal citizen. Regarding the conceptions of the gymnasts’ citizenship ideals, the essay demonstrates how the gymnasts argued that ideal civic virtues was reflected in the individual’s aesthetical bodily properties, which ultimately signified health. Thus, they argued that the properties liked to the ideal citizen only could be obtained through physical exercise, and the cultivation of a ‘healthy’ body, via gymnastic exercises. In the mid-1930’s the Gymnastics League undertook an international mission to display the superiority of Swedish gymnastics in front of foreign audiences, primarily by performing a non-competitive display at the Olympics in Berlin. I argue that this international outlook produced, and enhanced the national significance, and citizenship producing purpose of the gymnastics, especially when transcribed and mediated in the National Society’s yearbook, hence with the aim of addressing Swedish publics. The strategy of convincing the Swedish population of participating in gymnastics, through international exposure culminated at the Lingiad in Stockholm 1939, where the Gymnastics League invited to world in celebration of the centennial memory of the death of Per Hendrik Ling, the creator of Swedish gymnastics. This event displayed en masse what could be achieved through gymnastics, and enhanced the universal significance of Swedish culture in producing ascetically, and therefore civically sound, national citizens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 111 p.
Keyword [en]
1930’s, sports history, Citizenship project, media theory, Swedish Gymnastics, Voluntary Gymnastics, Gymnastics display, National Society for promotion of gymnastics, Per Hendrik Ling, Lingiaden 1939
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-322969OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-322969DiVA: diva2:1104368
Subject / course
History of Science and Ideas
Educational program
Master Programme in the Humanities – History of Science and Ideas
Presentation
2017-06-02, 7-0017, Thunbergsvägen 3H, 751 20, Uppsala, 14:15 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-16 Created: 2017-06-01 Last updated: 2017-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Gymnastik åt alla? Propaganda, kropp och medborgerliga visioner i den svenska gymnastikrörelsen på 30-talet(4841 kB)29 downloads
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