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Sport and the New Culture in the ‘Second Golden Age’: Amsterdam’s Sporting Entrepreneurs in the 1880s and 1890s

Piercey, NAE (2019) Sport and the New Culture in the ‘Second Golden Age’: Amsterdam’s Sporting Entrepreneurs in the 1880s and 1890s. International Journal of the History of Sport, 35 (7-8). pp. 709-726. ISSN 0952-3367

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Abstract

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Amsterdam underwent important changes in its economic, social and cultural life and the city entered what is often referred to as its 'Second Golden Age'. Old elites gave way to new and a new more entrepreneurial culture emerged focused on mass, visible and consumable activities, including sport, in which the body played a central role. This was especially apparent from the late 1870s and 1880s when spatial changes within the city helped to ensure that sport was increasingly the location for new kinds of associational activity and the development of new products, all underpinned by the potential for profit. Entrepreneurs like Perry & Co., De Gruyter and the ASC were able to effect strategic combinations between the new body culture and consumerism, producing a range of new products and exploiting new technologies to create new markets. In seizing these opportunities, Amsterdam's entrepreneurs were also reproducing the concept of the trainable, measurable and consumable body.

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