Tennis et distinction sociale en France

by Jack Hodges

From the Author:

“I have a deeply-rooted passion for tennis. The game, the physicality, the mental aspect and the players. It is in this latter group that this paper finds its genesis. In the immediate aftermath of my placement in the ‘Paris Country Club’ in France a thought niggled my mind, one that questioned the very thing I love. And this thought sought answers and explanations, perhaps hoping that with enlightenment and clarity, a sense of ease may also spring forth. In the most plain of terms, this paper is a detailed examination of tennis in France and throughout the world. Through the case study of the Paris Country Club itself my own thoughts and questions were brought into the light. It is the depressing truth that both social and racial injustice and segregation have the propensity to be exacerbated by the very existence of an elite sport such as tennis. Yet my argument does not stop with a mere unveiling of a universally acknowledged truth. Conversely, this paper aims to bring the role of the state and of the French Tennis Federation and the citizens within the tennis community and beyond to the forefront of the conversation, finding eventual solace in the thought (and one upon which I refuse to loosen my grip) that change can start with tennis, and that despite failings, it has already begun.”

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