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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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Representing Meuang Lao in Southeast Asia

Representing Meuang Lao in Southeast Asia

(p.140) 5 Representing Meuang Lao in Southeast Asia
Embodied Nation

Simon Creak

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter analyzes how the relationship between sport, nationalism, and regional relations in Laos was profoundly shaped by the region's rival Cold War alliances, from which local communist, neutralist, and rightist factions emerged. In postcolonial Laos, participating on the regional sporting stage had provided another means of galvanizing the association between sport, the human body, and national politics. Despite generally poor performances, such competition engendered comparison with surrounding countries, which reinterpreted precolonial and colonial dialectics of friendship and antagonism, emulation and rivalry, through the prism of international sport. Thus, based on their differing positions on what constituted the true “Meuang Lao”—Lao country or Laos—the distinct sporting relationships in the region developed by the communist and anticommunist factions highlighted the potent ways in which regional dynamics refracted globalized sporting culture in Laos.

Keywords:   globalized sporting culture, nationalism, regional relations, regional dynamics, national politics, international sport, sporting relationships, communist factions, anticommunist factions

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