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Quest for Excitement

Sport and Leisure in the Civilising Process

Elias effectively founded the modern sociology of sport in collaboration with Eric Dunning in the 1960s and 1970s. They argue that in highly constrained, ’civilised’ societies, sports - as well as a spectrum of other cultural and leisure activities - are to be understood not in terms of ’relaxation’ but rather of the need for pleasurable excitement and its pleasurable resolution.The topics range historically from the violence of the ancient Greek Olympic Games to foxhunting, early forms of football, and the question of why Britain proved to be the cradle of so many modern sports. And, today, what are the effects of achievement striving in elite sports? Why has spectator violence become such a problem? Why do so many sports retain the character of a ’male preserve’? Originally written in English, this volume has been thoroughly revised by Eric Dunning and includes one hitherto unpublished essay by Elias and a new essay by Dunning, bringing up to date his interpretation of football hooliganism.

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Table of Contents

Norbert Elias, 1897-1990 Note on the text Introduction, Norbert Elias The Quest for Excitement in Leisure, Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning Leisure in the Sparetime Spectrum, Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning The Genesis of Sport as a Sociological Problem, Part 1, Norbert Elias The Genesis of Sport as a Sociological Problem, Part 2, Norbert Elias An Essay on Sport and Violence, Norbert Elias Folk Football in Medieval and Early Modern Britain, Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning Dynamics of Sport Groups with Special Reference to Football, Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning The Dynamics of Modern Sport - Notes on Achievement-Striving and the Social Significance of Sport, Eric Dunning Social Bonding and Violence in Sport, Eric Dunning Sport as a Male Preserve - Notes on the Social Sources of Masculine Identity and its Transformations, Eric Dunning Football Hooliganism as an Emergent Global Idiom, Eric Dunning Appendix Bibliography Index.

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