Evolution of Rowing

When first thinking about a topic for for a case study, the importance of sports in so many different cultures came to mind.  With the development and growth of so many various sports worldwide, I thought it would be interesting to look further into the cultural impact of a specific sport.  For the sake of a cultural case study, I decided to focus on rowing due to the fact that it has been a well established sport for so many years. It started out as a recreational sport for workers on barges, then made its way to an elite sport for the bourgeois class in Europe and continues to be an extremely popular sport for various schools and institutions today.


Early in my research I found this article to be extremely useful.  It focuses on the impact of rowing within Austria, but is a prime example of how big of a cultural impact that rowing has actually had.  From Austrian national pride to Hitler trying to make rowing “the national sport par excellence, considered to embody all the values of the Nazi body cult and ideology: discipline, beauty, strength, and Nordic heroism” shows how important rowing has been throughout history.  Although this is a very specific period in time, I have found that it was a prevalent sport with a huge cultural impact starting as far back as the 18th century.  Not only was it extremely influential in the past, but it continues to play a significant role in society today.  As a result, I thought it would be important and interesting to apply the theory that we have learned to the transition that rowing has made over the past couple of centuries as well as the impact it continues to have in many different societies.


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