Race And Cricket: The West Indies And England At Lord's, 1963

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Race And Cricket: The West Indies And England At Lord's, 1963

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Title: Race And Cricket: The West Indies And England At Lord's, 1963
Author: Harris, Harold Richard Herbert
Abstract: Cricket became a sport in which there was a clear separation based on race and class; and these distinctions initially determined function within the sport. In England, where the distinction was based mostly on class, the aristocracy, who initially enjoyed watching their workers at play, became involved in playing the game, and determined roles aligned to class. In the West Indies, the distinction was determined by race. However, racial mixing blurred these demarcations and soon the underclass began to encroach onto a space that the sport had created for them. In due course, function within the sport faded into insignificance as the desire to win and entertain combined with capitalist impulses, compelled continual changes particularly in leadership. This dissertation argues that the persistent suppression of the underclass was social silencing, that the economic forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution enabled the emergence of the English proletariat, and that these forces helped change the sport. A double layer of silence existed in the West Indies and these layers mutated as social, economic and political conditions ebbed and flowed. Unlike conditions in England where the availability of abundant resources helped to facilitate the emergence of the underclass, the West Indian underclass found that scarce resources, natural disasters, and the influence of numerous prejudices limited their ability to change their condition. In fact, despite economic, political, religious and social agitation and resistance, cricket became the primary agency through which a West Indian identity emerged, and whereby they were able to demonstrate equality and later dominance on the world stage.
Date: 2011-10-11

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