The figurational sociology of sport and leisure of elias and dunning and its alternatives

David Jary, John D. Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Figurational sociology with its analytical tool the social “figuration” and its focus on the “socio-genetic” study of the transformation of culture and manners—the “civilizing process”—has made an important contribution to the sociology of sport and leisure. For all its strengths however questions can be raised about the approach: about the empirical and theoretical adequacy of its central concept, the “civilizing process”, and about the Figurationists’ claims to methodological “distinctiveness” and inherent superiority compared with alternatives. In raising these questions, the rival merits of alternative approaches in the sociology of sport and leisure are seen, approaches which can be viewed as complementary to Figurationist accounts but which are presented only stereotypically by Figurationists, whose special pleading for their own “distinctive method” can be seen as a potentially limiting factor in the further development of the sociology of sport and leisure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalLoisir et Societe
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Metals and Alloys

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