Degree Year

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Latin American Studies

Advisor(s)

Yago Colás

Committee Member(s)

Patrick O'Connor, Chair
Claire Solomon

Keywords

Chile, Chilenidad, Sport, Sports studies, Cultural studies, South America, Latin America, Latin American studies, Oberlin College, Manuel Plaza, Pinochet, Allende, El Estadio Nacional, National Stadium, 1928 Olympic Games, Marathon

Abstract

This project offers a new perspective for understanding the country and culture of Chile by examining the messages embedded in sport competitions. I will first detail the success of distance runner Manuel Plaza in his second-place finish at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games, and analyze how Plaza’s success at an international competition was adopted and interpreted to represent the entrance of Chile into modern and Western society. I will then discuss the struggle between different sections of Chilean society to create and monopolize the master narrative of the events that took place following the military coup of 1973. This section will demonstrate how sporting symbols like the National Stadium, World Cup, and Chilean national futbol team were used as the battleground to propagate these conflicting narratives. This project aims to understand how definitions of chilenidad, or Chilean identity, have evolved over time, and explore the intersection of chilenidad and sport. Drawing upon historical, political, and literary frameworks, this project advocates for the continued study of sport within the field of area studies, in order to learn from the cultural significance that sport carries.

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