Sport Histories: Figurational Studies of the Development of Modern Sports by Eric Dunning (Leicester University, UK)
Sports Histories draws on figurational sociology to provide a fresh approach to analysing the development of modern sport. The book brings together ten case studies from a wide range of sports, including mainstream sports such as soccer, rugby, baseball, boxing and cricket, to other sports that until now have been largely neglected by sports historians, such as shooting, motor racing, tennis, gymnastics and martial arts. This groundbreaking work highlights key debates in the analysis of modern sport, such as:
- the relative influence of intra-national class conflict and international conflict
- the relative prominence of commercially led processes in different contexts
- the centrality of concerns over violence
- differences between elite and mass-led sports developments.
Above all, Sport Histories proves the distinctiveness of the figurational sociological approach and its usefulness in the study of the development of modern sport.