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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: The Origins, Governance and Social Structure of Club Cross Country Running in Scotland, 1885 – 1914
Authors: Telfer, Hamish McDonald
Supervisor(s): Vamplew, Wray
Issue Date: Feb-2006
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The study examines a particular aspect of the development of athletics in Scotland. The first organised clubs for the sole purpose of purely athletic competition in the contemporary sense, were cross country clubs known as harrier clubs. Through investigation of the origins, governance and the social structure of harriers clubs, the study connects these three fundamental themes in understanding sport within broader social historical study. In this study the origins of cross country running are set within a theoretical framework which recognises the nature of the urban and rural environments which defined the sport. The sport’s early growth and governance in Scotland is set alongside the broader ideological position of the ‘amateur’. Additionally, club organisation promoted the clubs as cultural institutions. Clubs served as a focus for male sociability and elevated the status of membership of the harriers. Membership meant more than just sporting engagement; it included social and civic standing. The purpose and function therefore of early clubs extended beyond participation. This study demonstrates how membership of cross country clubs conferred upon its members a status, establishing harriers clubs as important social institutions. This research shows how social networks within sport replicated society more broadly. The significance of the contribution of cross country clubs to the development of Scottish sporting culture is therefore implicit. Harriers clubs were the epitome of the complexity of sporting engagement representing both respectability and liminal behaviour.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Sport

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