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Le handball réunionnais : l'histoire d'une réussite (1965-1995)

Abstract : From its debut in 1965 to its climax in 1995 (the year that Jackson Richardson won World Player of the Year), Reunionese handball reached immense success in only 30 years. This dissertation retraces, from a microhistorical perspective, the process leading to this success in the dual context of Reunionese history and French handball. Drawing from a great variety of sources (handball journals, first-hand testimonies, archives, news articles), it aims at delineating the political, social, cultural and geopolitical parameters of this evolution. This evolution took place in two stages. The first stage was the seminal impulse of 1965-1980, when a few visionaries building on local specificities strove to organise a handball scene in La Réunion and embed the sport in Reunionese life, overcoming numerous obstacles in the process. The second stage (1980-1995) saw local actors strive to bring Reunionese handball up to high-level standards, in accordance with FFHB policy. This gave rise to a shift in representations, wherebybhandball was no longer limited to fun and entertainment, but increasingly perceived as vector of upward social mobility within an exacting and competitive framework. The history of Reunionese handball and its actors must be understood in the wider context of the many changes undergone by Reunionese society over the period, such as the increase in school enrolment, the beginnings of women's emancipation, intensified connections with the outer world, and an overall improvement in the region's image. It also demonstrates the impact of an oversea region on the organisation, massification and high-level achievements of French handball (to which it brought the specificities of its own multicultural model). Finally, it exemplifies the importance of collective values to reach success.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 2:32:07 PM
Last modification on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 3:39:03 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 7:36:21 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03461712, version 1


Vincent Mathivet. Le handball réunionnais : l'histoire d'une réussite (1965-1995). Histoire. Université de la Réunion, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021LARE0011⟩. ⟨tel-03461712⟩



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