Thursday, May 17, 2007

Durban Sport: A Theatre of Spaces

In the chapter, Durban Sport: A Theatre of Spaces, Lawrence Gordon and Stephen Gordon argue that Durban sport has ‘a distinctive identity’ evolving from its physical and social environment. But their emphasis is on the social and historical constructions of various sports and their appropriation, notably, by English-speaking whites. They examine how identifications by Anglos and dis-identifications by Afrikaners have influenced the ‘Natal style’ of rugby. As a predominantly white & male sport, rugby is a powerful medium through which versions of whiteness and masculinities are produced. Cricket is also addressed historically as a white English activity. They characterise it as a ‘tool of colonisation’ for inculcating supposedly superior English values and as a ‘home-from-home sanctuary’ for Anglos estranged from a white South Africa dominated by their [Afrikaans-speaking] cultural adversaries. As a white sport, rugby has come to be associated with elitism and discrimination by many 'non-whites' who hailed football as ‘the people’s game’.

Gordon, Lawrence, and Gordon, Stephen. 'Durban Sport: A Theatre of Spaces', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 132-142.