This book argues that sport in the era of global or financialised capitalism has undergone a process of fracturing, which requires a re-assessment of longstanding and consensual accounts of traditional-to-modern sporting activity. Considering rival concepts of sport, it presents detailed, illustrative studies of various types of sporting or athletic activity – including soccer, cricket, rugby and track and field – to advance an alternative sociological understanding of sport rooted in the philosophies and theories of critical realism and critical theory. As such, A Critical Realist Theory of Sport will appeal to scholars of sociology and social theory with interests in sport, research methods and critical realist thought.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Critical Realist Theory of Sport
1. The Case for a Revised Sociology of Sport
2. A Critical Realist Frame
3. From Hyper-rationalisation to the Fractured Society
4. Global System versus Local Lifeworld
5. A Case Study: Rugby as ‘Tribal Warfare’
6. Sociology and Sport in the Fractured Society
Graham Scambler is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at University College London and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Surrey University. Recent books include Sociology, Health and the Fractured Society: A Critical Realist Account (2018); A Sociology of Shame and Blame: Insiders Versus Outsiders (2020); and Communal Forms: A Sociological Exploration of Concepts of Community (with Tjora, 2020). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK.