Figurational/Process-Sociological Reflections on Sport and Globalisation: Some Conceptual-Theoretical Observations with Special Reference to the ‘Soccer’ form of Football

Eric Dunning

*Corresponding author: Eric Dunning ed15@le.ac.uk

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Cite this article

Dunning, E. (2009). Figurational/Process-Sociological Reflections on Sport and Globalisation: Some Conceptual-Theoretical Observations with Special Reference to the ‘Soccer’ form of Football. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 97, 8-17.

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Abstract

This paper falls into three parts. The first involves a general conceptual-theoretical discussion of globalisation and some examples from the realm of global sport; the second involves a discussion of the development and global spread of ‘soccer’; and the third involves a discussion of some sporting and/or sport-associated pathologies. Throughout, the discussion uses the figurational/process-sociological approach developed by Norbert Elias. Expressed simply, the essay is fundamentally an exercise in process- and relational sociology. ‘Soccer’ – ‘Association Football’ to give the game its proper name – has become the world’s most popular team-sport. It emerged in the middle and latter parts of the 19th century in Britain and Ireland and spread from thence rapidly throughout the world. The paper analyses this process and finishes with a discussion of: the anomie experienced by many top-level sportspersons; the sports-related sex scandals reported mainly in the tabloid press; and finally, the continuing world-wide scourge of ‘soccer hooliganism’.

Keywords: football, Globalization, Process and Figurational Sociology, Spread of Sport.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: July 01, 2009