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The World Gymnaestrada - A Modern form of Linggymnastics?
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8501-8987
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6629-613x
2009 (English)In: ECSS 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo/Norge 24-27June 2009. Oral presentation, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abstract  

 

The World Gymnaestrada – A Modern Form of Ling Gymnastics?

Meckbach, J., Lundquist Wanneberg, P.The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, StockholmSweden

Introduction

Different forms of kinetic culture were developed in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. One of these was Ling gymnastics (Lundvall & Meckbach, 2003; Lundquist Wanneberg, 2004; Pfister, 2003). Ling gymnastics has been described as one of Sweden’s biggest cultural export products and in 1939 an international gymnastic display, the Lingiad, was held in Stockholm. But Gymnastics festivals are not a select Swedish phenomenon (Pfister 2007). The first World Gymnaestrada (WG) was held in Rotterdam in 1953. The focus in this study is on the conceptual content of Ling gymnastics evident in the type of gymnastics performed, Gymnastics For All (GFA), at the WG.

Methods

Three concept pairs General-Elite, Collectivism-Individualism, and Modesty-Ambition have been used to both capture and analyse the elements of Ling gymnastics evident in the WG. The study is based on 20 group interviews (semi-structured) with a total of 53 gymnasts and 87 observations (semi-structures with an observational list) carried out during 2007 WG.

Results

The results show: i) one similarity between the two forms of gymnastics is amateurism: no one profited financially from their involvement, ii) another similarity is the view of collectivism and general: gymnastics should be done together and should be available for all.

Discussion

The answer to the question whether the WG´s concept of gymnastics, GFA, can be regarded as a modern form of Ling gymnastics is yes, with certain reservations. The study has shown that there also are differences in content; differences that to some extent can be explained by structural changes when it comes to the view of the individual versus the collective. But in terms of the approach to the type of display and an emphasis on diversity, the basic principles are the same. The final question is how a Swedish gymnastics form that is rooted in the early 19th century can live on in an international context today? As been pointed out by the Norwegian sociologist, Augestad (2001) and the German historian, Pfister (2003) the universality of the Ling gymnastics made it compatible with cultures other than Swedish. Obviously so even today – at least part of it.

References

Augestad,P. (2001). Sosiologisk tidskrift 9 (3), 233-253.Kihlmark, O. (1988) Sv Idrottshistoriska föreningens årsskrift, 43-50.Lundvall, S. & Meckbach, J. (2003). Ett ämne i rörelse. Diss. Stockholm.                                        Lundquist Wanneberg, P. (2004) Kroppens medborgarfostran. Diss. Stockholm.

Pfister, G. (2003). Sport in Society 6 (1), 61-91.                                                                                

Pfister, G. (2007), Stadion 33 (1), 49-70.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1789OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1789DiVA: diva2:409295
Available from: 2011-04-07 Created: 2011-04-07 Last updated: 2017-01-11Bibliographically approved

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