In , he became professor at the University of Odense , later at the University of Copenhagen , developing the Danish school of body culture studies. During the s, Eichberg studied sport and popular culture in Indonesia and during the s in Libya , paving the way for international comparative studies of body culture. He established the term of "body culture" in international anthropology and history. His methodological main contributions to this field were the configurational analysis Konfigurationsanalyse of movement cultures and the research in their inner contradictions, the so-called trialectics of body culture.
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He became notable by his contributions to the philosophy of body culture and by his political radical writings on folk and nation. Contents History of behaviour and philosophy of body culture 1 Radical writing on folk and nationalism 2 Towards ecology and socialism 3 Critique and controversies 4 Bibliography 5 History of behaviour and philosophy of body culture Eichberg received his academic degrees in the field of history in Bochum and in sociology in Stuttgart.
In , he became professor at the University of Odense , later at the University of Copenhagen , developing the Danish school of body culture studies. During the s, Eichberg studied sport and popular culture in Indonesia and during the s in Libya , paving the way for international comparative studies of body culture.
He established the term of "body culture" in international anthropology and history. His methodological main contributions to this field were the configurational analysis Konfigurationsanalyse of movement cultures and the research in their inner contradictions, the so-called trialectics of body culture. He also initiated the so-called Eichberg-Mandell-Guttmann theory of the specific modernity of sport , understanding sport as a pattern of industrial productivity : "There were games and athletics in ancient Greece, but no sport.
His body-cultural writings were translated and especially influential in Finland and East Asia. History of military technology : Eichberg analyzed the fortification of the Early Modern bastionary type as a configurational expression of social geometry, characterizing the nascent territorial state.
History of laughter: The cultural change of laughter and smile in industrial modernity followed the change of configurations from popular carnival to the seriousness of sportive strain under the premises of productive achievement. Labyrinth: Eichberg described the history of the labyrinth as a configurational change of folk running, play and game , contrasting the straight lines of modern sport facilities. Radical writing on folk and nationalism In Germany, Eichberg became known by his radical writings about nationalism and the philosophy of "the people" German Volk , Nordic folk.
In his youth, Eichberg engaged on the radical right wing , contributing from currently to the neo-fascist monthly Nation Europa.
Around , he acted as founder and leading intellectual of the " New Right " and later on as a speaker of the "National revolutionary movement" in Germany. Paul Weber A. Paul Weber as well as to the anti-Hitler resistance of 20 July During the s, Eichberg dissociated himself from his earlier right-wing positions.
He expressed self-critique against the "Eurofascism" of his youth and turned towards Third World studies and anti-colonial solidarity. Entering into discussions with the New Left, he commented: "National is revolutionary" and "Who does not want to talk about the peoples, should silence about the human being".
Towards ecology and socialism During the mids, Eichberg turned to ecological criticism and engaged in the nascent Green movement , among others by critical studies on the "automobile society" and on the "container architecture" of sports. This became influential for the critical study of social alienation in sport architecture.
Eichberg contributed between and to the journal Wir Selbst Wir selbst, which tried to build bridge between right-wing national revolutionaries, New Left intellectuals and ecologists. Together with the peace researcher Alfred Mechtersheimer who was at that time member of the German Parliament for the Green party , he founded the peace committee Friedenskomitee , launching the concept of "national pacifism". After his emigration to Denmark in , Eichberg engaged in Danish socialist milieus, held philosophical courses in socialist summer camps and contributed to left-wing periodicals.
By studies on the socialist term of " folk " and "the people ", he extended the study of popular culture towards a theory of "the people of democracy".
At the 60th anniversary of Eichberg, a Danish festschrift was published collecting critical contributions about " folk " and the " people ". German sociologists of the established "sport development aid" SporthilfeStiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe also opposed his critique of "sport export" and his studies in popular games, the promotion of traditional games being described as Third World romanticism. In Germany, Eichberg became politically controversial because of his involvement in the " New Right " of the early s.
Some authors doubted his change from the right wing to left-wing positions. They pointed to the reception of the term " ethnopluralism " in milieus of the extreme Right. Eichberg was also distrusted for his meetings with Muammar al-Gaddafi. Eichberg was said to act as "godfather" for a certain anti-American and anti-capitalist left wing - German Social Democrats SPD , Socialists and Greens -, who followed a hidden right-wing, nationalist agenda.
This interpretation met, however, sharp critique from the side of left-wing anti-fascists. Critics from the right wing accused Eichberg of overstating the structural contradictions between the state and the people.
In Denmark, leaders of the leftism " and " cultural radicalism ". The Conservative minister of culture, Brian Mikkelsen , deprived the institute in of public funding, which it had received during 25 years, and entered into a sharp debate with Eichberg in the media.
Bibliography Eichberg published about 50 books, most of them about the history and cultural sociology of body culture physical culture and sport. Main publications: Der Weg des Sports in die industrielle Zivilisation. London The People of Democracy. Towards a Philosophy of Sport for All.
London Minderheit und Mehrheit.
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