The author deals with history of mass gym performances in the Czech Republic and analyzes theirs social and political meaning. From the point of view of gender that plays important role in rituals using symbolism of human body he compares Sokol festivals which have been taking place since nineteenth century with the communistic mass performances called 'Spartakiáda'. The mass Sokol exercises express the need to represent the national community. Although women couldn't participate in the public Sokol performances until the end of the nineteenth century, after their involvement there was strictly defined distinct symbolism of the female and male component (the beauty and the power). The author proves that also within the communistic mass exercises ('Spartakiáda') there was applied consistent segregation of the gender roles, despite of communist ideology of unity of the working class. The duality of male and female body was kept, but a shift from the emphasis on the external characteristics of the body (beauty and power) to the emphasis on the functions of the human body took place. The division of the gender roles was functional - they served as a representation of society like a model of factory. (www.genderonline.cz/view.php?cisloclanku=2006020701)
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