Annette R. Hofmann, The American Turner Movement: A History from its Beginning to 2000

Annette R. Hofmann, The American Turner Movement: A History from its Beginning to 2000. Indianapolis: Max Kade, 2010.

This work deals with the development of German Turnverein movement in the US. It takes up its growth in the 19th century and its gradual decline which essentially began after World War I and continues to this day. Turnen, the German form of physical culture which played a significant role in the Turner societies has lost much of its significance in the 20th century. Turnen was absorbed by other forms of physical activities and the Turners became Americanized. The most important factors for this evolution are cultural, social, and economic influences.

To show this transformation the assimilation of German immigrants is reflected on since the 18th century. Theories of integration which explain and interpret this process, however, do not include physical education. For this reason, an attempt has been made with this work to portray the changes in the Turner activities and its current image by means of various social theories concerning ethnicity and Americanization. One of the major works used is Richard D. Alba’s Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America (1990). In addition, an empirical study has been used to describe what remains of the Turner activities.

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