Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Rima Basu

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2020 Matthew A Grundlingh

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In this thesis, I will be exploring how sport can be used as a proxy for national identity. Although this might suggest that sport is an impediment to the goals of integration, to the contrary I will argue that given its role as a proxy for national identity, sport can be used to foster interracial relationships and harmony. Beginning with important arguments for racial integration put forth by Elizabeth Anderson, this thesis aims to emphasize the importance of social integration between races whether it be in neighborhoods, the classroom, or the workplace in order to break down harmful stigmas and stereotypes. I will then ultimately demonstrate how a national identity can arise through a sports team by evaluating arguments from Erin Tarver in her book ‘The I in Team’. I will then use the arguments proposed in this book and relate them to the Springboks winning 1995 World Cup campaign, where after 50 years of aggressive segregation under apartheid, both sides of the country united through the Springboks victory, a symbol that was despised by the black population throughout apartheid. Finally, I will address any potential objections to my theory of sport as a proxy for national identity in order to develop those interracial relationships.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.