By Dong Jinxia
Drawing on chinese language assets hitherto unavailable within the West together with reliable records and interviews with best athletes, the writer explores the increase of chinese language great sportswomen and their courting with politics, tradition and society sooner than and through the Cultural Revolution and during China's transition to a marketplace financial system.
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Drawing on chinese language resources hitherto unavailable within the West together with professional files and interviews with most sensible athletes, the writer explores the increase of chinese language tremendous sportswomen and their dating with politics, tradition and society ahead of and through the Cultural Revolution and during China's transition to a marketplace economic climate.
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Extra info for Women, Sport and Society in Modern China: Holding up More than Half the Sky (Sport in the Global Society)
The point to stress is that sport did not stand outside society: China’s interest in elite sport was derived from its new identity. Hungry to obtain redress for over a century of humiliation by foreign powers, the Chinese were anxious to create a new identity in the world after the communist regime came into being, and sporting success was a useful instrument for this purpose. How to overtake the advanced sporting countries was an issue that obsessed the Chinese. However, in the early 1950s China was still characterised by widespread poverty; scarce resources of capital and expertise limited the possibility of laying down foundations for elite sport at the grass-roots level.
As Nan Yalan, a woman career-soldier and gymnastic coach, has stated: Women, sport and society in modern china 26 The strictness of life in the army cultivated my sense of responsibility. I spent 41 years in the national team (ten years as a gymnast, 31 years as a coach). I dedicated all my life to the cause, and sacrificed a lot. I had my first child when I was 33 and my second when I was 43. 36 Finally, a number of high-level military and party leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhu De loved sport, and many former military officers acquired positions in sports administration37 after the New China was set up.
The two went hand in hand. Benefiting from the new Marriage Law, which stipulated a minimum age for marriage of 18 for women and 20 for men, adolescent girls could freely pursue their education. 29 As women’s education improved, their awareness of their potentialities and the possibilities in society was awakened. They began to question the traditional norms of femininity, encapsulated in such aphorisms as ‘women’s lack of ability is her virtue’ and ‘man is superior to woman’. Thus cultural transformation laid down a further stepping stone enabling women to make their way to involvement in sport, including elite sport.
Women, Sport and Society in Modern China: Holding up More than Half the Sky (Sport in the Global Society) by Dong Jinxia