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Colonial Sport in Madagascar 1896–1960

Évelyne Combeau-Mari 1 
1 CRESOI - Centre de Recherche sur les Sociétés de l'Océan Indien
OIES - Océan Indien : Espaces et Sociétés
Abstract : Transposing onto a symbolic level the theories of ‘struggle for life’ and social Darwinism, which justify natural inequalities, sport turned out to be a very appropriate auxiliary to colonial expansion. Due to its entertainment value, spectacular character and unifying appeal, the British educational model captivated the attention of the Malagasy elite. What, respectively, were the place and purpose for ‘gymnastics’ and sport in Madagascar? The aim of this study is to reveal and analyse the systems of implantation and spreading of, then empowerment through, these corporal practices during the period of French colonisation [1896–1960]. In a colonial environment, sport was paradoxically both an instrument of colonisation [of education, assimilation, etc.], and an implement of decolonisation [grounds for assembly, conflict, and expression of identity]. This dual function, complex in the process it initiates, had a unique effect on both the history and culture of the island-continent of Madagascar.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 2:41:57 PM
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Évelyne Combeau-Mari. Colonial Sport in Madagascar 1896–1960. International Journal of the History of Sport, 2011, 28 (12), pp.1557--1565. ⟨10.1080/09523367.2011.592743⟩. ⟨hal-01244112⟩



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