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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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Socialist Cultures of Rhetoric and Physicality

Socialist Cultures of Rhetoric and Physicality

(p.167) 6 Socialist Cultures of Rhetoric and Physicality
Embodied Nation

Simon Creak

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at how the Lao People's Revolutionary Party's (LPRP) “revolution in culture and thought” aimed to build a “new socialist person” as a requisite factor for the construction of socialism. Strong and healthy, the new socialist person was defined by physical as well as moral and behavioral characteristics, which would be produced by a mass sport and physical culture movement created for this purpose. In common with other socialist reforms, efforts to build a mass sport and physical culture movement aimed at producing the socialist person confronted insurmountable barriers. The official reports that document this failure nevertheless illustrate more fundamental consequences of the socialist obsession with physicality, as the regime privileged the corporeal over the intellectual and produced an entire cosmology of socialist change couched in physical metaphor and idiom.

Keywords:   new socialist person, socialism, Lao People's Revolutionary Party, LPRP, physical culture, socialist physicality, socialist Laos

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