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Title: Sport and physical education in the northern mainland burghs of Scotland, c.1600-1800
Author: Cormack, Wade
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of the Highlands and Islands
Date of Award: 2016
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British sport history has become a serious branch of historical enquiry over the past three decades. Yet, many questions as regards regions, chronology, space, gender and power remain unexplored, especially in Scotland before 1800. This study examines sport and physical education in the northern mainland burghs of Scotland c. 1600-1800. It is divided into two parts. Part One investigates the national and international contexts for, and influences on, sport and physical education in northern Scotland. It covers the wider intellectual discourse, how the north was influenced by, and contributed to, the development of national and international sporting practise and culture. It then assesses how physical education was taught at educational institutions in northern Scotland and the characteristics of elite sport. Part Two explores sport as played, experienced and regulated by ordinary people in the northern burghs. Popular sport was less influenced by an international context and was far more regionally and locally focused. Popular and festive sport were pursued for enjoyment, were organised, gendered and were a vital release for society. The authorities also attempted to control popular sport in urban communities but this study finds social control was not universal and the lower ranks had agency, resisting the authorities' decrees as regards sport. This study concludes that sport and physical education were a significant, although previously unexamined, component of social and cultural life in the northern mainland burghs, before 1800. In Part One sport and physical education changed considerably, both influencing, and adapting to, national and international discourses of, 'civility' at the beginning of the period, and towards the end, 'politeness'. Moreover, the introduction of sports clubs from 1750 signalled a change towards a higher degree of organisation. By contrast, Part Two demonstrates popular sport practices remained relatively consistent. Thus, the thesis emphasises the need for regional studies of Scottish and British sport and physical education, examining their features across the social spectrum and the elements of both change and continuity that, together, characterised sport and physical education across the British Isles in the pre-industrial period.
Supervisor: Worthington, David ; Ritchie, Elizabeth Sponsor: Royal Dornoch Golf Club ; University of the Highlands and Islands Development Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sports ; Physical education and training