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Figurational sociology and the sociology of sport
journal contributionposted on 12.10.2021, 09:58 by Dominic MalcolmDominic Malcolm
This article provides an outline of the development of the figurational sociological analysis of sport. It begins by reviewing the careers of Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning. It shows how their early work established and embodied many of the core principles of figurational sociology - the concept of figuration; the importance of process; recognition of the fundamental interdependence of macro-level and microlevel social developments; and the importance of undertaking an embodied sociological analysis – and had a major impact on both the work of Elias and the development of the sociology of sport. It then explores the growth of figurational sociology of sport, explaining how research and pedagogical developments through the 1980s and 1990s continued to impact on the subdiscipline. Thirdly it charts how the core theoretical principles have been applied and developed in my own work, in particular the analysis of violence, Englishness and national identity in relation to cricket, and more recently in an attempt to understand the growing synergy between sport, health and medicine. The article concludes by identifying how recent ‘state of the art’ reviews of the field continually show the centrality and significance of Elias, Dunning and the figurational approach to sport they together developed.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences