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Title: Gender and the organisation of British climbing c.1857-1955
Author: Osborne, Carol A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 816X
Awarding Body: University of Lancaster
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis undertakes an historical analysis of the position of women through the organisation of British Climbing c.1857-1955. The thesis examines the problematic use of internal histories that are dependent on the particular. and gendered, organisation of climbing. The argument is structured around a narrative of three emerging phases of British climbing activity: Alpine mountaineering (c.1850s). rock climbing (c.1880s) and high peak expeditionism (c.1920s). Charting these phases using primary and secondary sources. the thesis argues that academic history as written from a basis of male authority and claims to expertise. tempts historians along a particular interpretive path: one where not only male achievement and endeavour invariably takes absolute precedence. but does so from a basis of largely unquestioned circumstances of production and reproduction of knowledge. The analysis shows that far from being a male preserve. women have been climbing since the inception of the sport and at the time when the first climbing clubs. established by and for men. were founded. By examining these key climbing organisations. with particular reference to their foundation. character and aims. the thesis shows how social practices which turned upon articulations of gender were deployed in a way that served to sideline women and their achievements. However. in response. women founded their own clubs and inaugurated their own set of values and climbing practices in the context of the sport. By considering the experiences of individual climbers through this context of organisational. that is. mainly club history. the thesis illustrates the way's in which organisational location could either benefit or disadvantage women. individually and collectively. in terms of validation of their activity. both within and beyond the climbing community. Due to the nature of existing historical interpretations. the thesis argues that gender has been. and remains. the primary point of mediation for understandings of the identity of 'the climber'. for the organisational development of British climbing. and for how climbers have been perceived both by their contemporaries. historians and in the public domain
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available