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The Invention of the Beautiful GameFootball and the Making of Modern Brazil$
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Gregg Bocketti

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062556

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062556.001.0001

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Playing for the Nation

Playing for the Nation

The Ideology of Brazilian Sports

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Playing for the Nation
Source:
The Invention of the Beautiful Game
Author(s):

Gregg Bocketti

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062556.003.0002

This chapter examines football’s attractions to the well-to-do sportsmen who first played the game, and to the reformers of the 1920s and 1930s who bent it to their uses. The sportsmen believed football would improve Brazilians’ health and teach them to be good citizens, workers, and soldiers; their beliefs about football connected to those which animated the founding of the First Republic and contemporaneous public health and urban renewal campaigns. Reformers attacked the sportsmen, but they shared their predecessors’ faith in football’s power to build the nation, and they continued to promote its educational role, believing that it could teach Brazilians the discipline many of them seemed to lack. In this, reformers echoed their partners in the Getúlio Vargas regime. The chapter demonstrates that Brazilian policymakers, educators, and other nation-builders from the 1890s to the 1940s shared a commitment to improvement and discipline: one revealed in the ideology of football.

Keywords:   improvement, discipline, citizenship, education, ideology

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