Elias-Dunning-Sport-Quest for Excitement Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process

May 19th, 2015
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It happens quite often in the development of a science, or of one of its branches, that a type of theory which has dominated the direction of research for some time reaches a point where its limitations become apparent.1 One begins to see that a number of significant problems cannot be clearly formulated and cannot be solved with its help.

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Norbert Elias and Eric DunningQuest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process(Blackwell: Oxford UK & Cambridge USA)Excerpts from Norbert Elias: IntroductionDynamics of Sport Groups with Special reference to football (p.6)It happens quite often in the development of a science, or of one of its branches, that a type of theory which has dominated the direction of research for some time reaches a point where its limitations become apparent.1 One begins to see that a number of significant problems cannot be clearly formulated and cannot be solved with its help. The scientists who work in this field then begin to look round for a wide theoretical framework, or perhaps for another type of theory altogether, which will allow them to come to grips with problems beyond the reach of the fashionable type of theory.What is called small group theory in contemporary sociology appears to be in that stage. It is fairly evident that a good many problems of small groups are beyond the reach of small group theory in its present form, to say nothing of its limitations as a model-setting theory for the exploration of larger social units. It did not, at any rate, prove of great help to us when we tried to investigate problems of small groups engaged in sport-games such as football. Confronted with the study of sport groups in vivo, small group theory failed us.2We therefore set out in connection with a wider investigation of the long-term development of f

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