In post-WWII Italy, Catholic educational networks were among the first youth settings to be instrumental in popularising sport, especially football. This phenomenon can be observed at the parish oratories of Milan, which offer an interesting case study, given their well-established tradition of providing education and the socio-economic transformation which occurred in the city during the years of Italy’s economic miracle. In fact, as documented by the archival and print sources drawn on in this paper, the position occupied by modern football in the consumer society represented a challenge for the Milanese oratories, which had to contend with the new ways in which young people were engaging with and perceiving football. The historical reconstruction offered here is intended to throw light on a crucial issue for pedagogical reflection, which – as much today as in the past – is called upon to inquire into the educational potential and risks of sport.
- History of Catholic popular education
- XX century