1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - A game of two sides : the formal division of rugby in the Transvaal, 1889-1899

Volume 31 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3053

Abstract

The importance of sport in the revision of the past has gained much recognition in recent times and the genre of sport history has become ever more popular as a result. This article locates and traces the historically binary relationship of sport with concepts such as unification and division, inclusion and exclusion, while focussing on historical division in rugby in the Transvaal Republic. While it is true that sport creates community and unites people, it is also true that sport often serves as a stage for division and social exclusion. This is well illustrated in the development of rugby in the Transvaal Republic. Various theories have been developed to analyse division within societies which may shed more light on the effectiveness of sport as a social divider in the nineteenth century. Relevant concepts and theories include: B Bernstein, HL Elvin and RS Peters’s ideas on rituals and symbols; Eric Hobsbawm’s “Invented Traditions”; Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities”; as well as Antonio Gramsci’s “Cultural Hegemony”. By applying these theories, within strong British cultural imperialism, to the establishment of exclusive rugby clubs and unions, one can explain how the rugby community in the Transvaal came to be racially stratified. It is thus the aim of this article to discern the link between the establishment of exclusive clubs and unions and the racial stratification of Transvaal rugby during the period 1889-1899.

Die belangrikheid van sport in die hersiening van die verlede het die afgelope tyd heelwat erkenning ontvang en die genre van sportgeskiedenis het meer en meer gewild geraak as ’n gevolg daarvan. Hierdie artikel verken die histories binêre natuur van sport in verband met konsepte soos eenwording en verdeeldheid, insluiting en uitsluiting, en volg dit na deur te verwys na die historiese verdeeldheid van rugby in die Transvaalse Republiek. Alhoewel dit waar is dat sport ’n gevoel van gemeenskap skep en mense bymekaar bring, is dit ook waar dat dit dikwels ’n platform bied vir verdeling en sosiale uitsluiting. Dit word goed geïllustreer in die ontwikkeling van rugby in die Transvaalse Republiek. Verskeie teorieë om verdeeldheid in gemeenskappe te ondersoek, is reeds ontwikkel, en dit kan meer lig werp op die effektiwiteit van sport as ’n sosiale verdeler in die negentiende eeu. Relevante konsepte en teorieë sluit in: B Bernstein, HL Elvin en RS Peters se idees oor rituele en simbole; Eric Hobsbawm se “Geskepte Tradisisies” (“Invented Traditions”); Benedict Anderson se “Verbeelde Gemeenskappe” (“Imagined Communities”); sowel as Antonio Gramsci se “Kulturele Hegemonie” (“Cultural Hegemony”). Deur hierdie teorieë binne die raamwerk van sterk Britse kulturele imperialisme op die stigting van eksklusiewe rugbyklubs en unies toe te pas, kan daar verduidelik word hoe die rugbygemeenskap in die Transvaal in rasseterme verdeel was. Dit is dus die doel van hierdie artikel om die verband tussen die stigting van eksklusiewe klubs en unies en die rassestratifikasie van Transvaalse rugby gedurende die tydperk 1889-1899 uit te lig.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-d2096d1b2
2018-03-15
2019-04-22

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