Britain and the Olympic Games 1908-1920: Perspectives on participation and identity

Harris, L. (2013) Britain and the Olympic Games 1908-1920: Perspectives on participation and identity. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines Britain’s relationship with the Olympic Games between 1908 and 1920, a period which witnesses Britain’s first serious entrance into the Olympics and the development of the Olympic Games into the movement which it is today. This thesis uses the British media as the primary source to analyse and examine the development of the nation’s attitudes and identities towards the Olympics. The Games of this period, from London (1908), Stockholm (1912), Antwerp (1920), along with the preparations for the aborted 1916 Berlin Olympics are considered.
The reaction to the British performance at each of the Olympics is the main focus of the research. There is also extensive examination into the periods in between the Games, as at this time the most plentiful discussion regarding the British approach appears, particularly that after the Stockholm Olympics. In an attempt to create a well rounded picture of how the Olympics are perceived across Britain, sections of the press in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been examined.
Throughout the thesis there are reoccurring themes that appear. British perspectives towards the Olympics and their own identity are considered, and throughout there is analysis regarding this. Athletics is at the centre of British Olympic involvement, but field events are viewed as a poorer cousin to track events by those in England in particular, this thesis examines this identity. The period of this thesis is prominently remembered for the First World War, and consequently the relationship between Britain and Germany from an Olympic perspective is examined.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA0020 England > DA0028 History > DA0129 By period > DA0300 Modern, 1485-
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0712 Athletic contests. Sports events
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Roz Bass
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 09:22
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 15:02
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13302

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00