Enduring legacies and convergent identities: The male-dominated origins of the Kenyan running explosion

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Abstract

The colonial era in Kenya was a pivotal and transitional period during which aspects of local peoples' existing gender roles and relations were challenged, renegotiated and, in the case of running, confirmed. British colonial intent to introduce running as sport to men aligned with Rift Valley societies that condoned male, though not female, running. Indigenous ideas and ways of living could operate in tandem with the historically masculine orientation of Western athletics, leaving a legacy of cultural synthesis that significantly constrained Kenyan women's sporting prospects. Histories of sport in Kenya, and elsewhere, should take into account both external and local gender norms, as they existed prior to colonial contact, to understand better the gendered mechanisms through which sport "diffused" to empire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sport History
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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