Physical education and physical culture in the Coloured community of the Western Cape, 1837-1966

Cleophas, Francois Johannes (2009-03)

Thesis (PhD (Sport Science))—University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Physical Education is a human movement activity driven by syllabi and educational programmes. Physical culture refers to human movement programmes with an entertainment component, but that also uses physical education activity. This study serves as an account of Physical Education and physical culture in the Coloured community of the Western Cape in the period 1837 to 1966. It offers a historical exploration of these activities in the social and political context and cuts across narrow definitions of race and class. The research also pays attention to the untold and unpleasant side of the story of Physical Education. This necessitated tracing the origin of Physical Education and physical culture back to their European roots, because of the strong political and cultural links between South Africa and Europe. The Cape Coloured petty bourgeoisie urbanite minority of the 19th and early 20th century were eager but unable to infiltrate the ranks of middle class White society. They were acutely aware of the need to show respect towards the White middle classes and also to distance themselves from the “unruly behaviour” of the working class. For this reason Physical Education and physical culture programmes became suitable means for the Coloured petty bourgeoisie to educate the “less fortunate” Coloured working class masses.

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