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Embodied NationSport, Masculinity, and the Making of Modern Laos$
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Simon Creak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838898

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838898.001.0001

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Sport and the Theatrics of Power

Sport and the Theatrics of Power

(p.118) 4 Sport and the Theatrics of Power
Embodied Nation

Simon Creak

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at how the modern sporting spectacle combined with existing genres of state performance had culminated in a demonstration of national unity and progress. At the same time, the chapter examines the two-decade period after the 1954 Geneva Agreements, which was defined by intractable division and protracted civil war, leading to a discussion in discourses of unity and the relationship of sport and modernity in postcolonial Laos. Central to this discussion is the performance of sport in Laos during this period and the particular meanings such spectacles engendered for the state. A product of their time, the theatrics of power was transformed by the cultural flows, practices, and technologies accompanying colonialism and American aid—especially the technologies of Olympic spectacle.

Keywords:   modern sport, national unity, state performance, power, civil war, national disunity, postcolonial Laos, Olympics

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