O Politice Těla a Hegemonii Měšťanského Řádu

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Abstract

Since the mid-19th century until the 1930s, the Czech physical education and the scout movements formed a platform for the propagation of a specific somatology and health science discourse connected with the issues of morality, national awareness and political views. They strived to create an integral Czech personality subject to the imperative of the bourgeois values and norms. The stress was on the set of rules, diligence, commitment to the benefit of the nation, moderation, temperance, and obedience, while laziness and conspicuous revelry were, in this context, condemned. Disobedience, immorality and improper use of powers were perceived as a real threat to the national community and later to the so-called First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938). Hence, activities of both the physical education organisations and the Scout Movement, became a form of national defence against harmful influences. As a result of their effort to impact the society as a whole, these activities became a mobilization tool which promoted both physical and moral norms: the cultivation of the body became a moral duty for all members of the nation. The disapproval, based on political and generational reasons, towards the bourgeois morality hegemony and later, of the state paternalism (for instance by the non-organised scout-tramps), resulted in attempts to condemn all those who refused the social dictate and the state’s control.

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