The Civilising Process is a book written by sociologist Norbert Elias, in which he contends that the present structure and form of society can only be understood in relation to long term processes which have their roots deep in history. If we use the civilising process as a lens, we are encouraged to view the present state of affairs (whether that be political, economic, social or sporting) not as a fixed and final destination, but as a mere point along a flow of history from past to future. This meta-narrative enables us to appreciate the necessary lack of equilibrium in the social world, and is a helpful way of conceptualising the cause(s) of social conflict. Furthermore, conceptualising society as a manifestation of a multitude of processes rather than as a static, fixed entity encourages us to seek out and identify social trajectories.
Showing posts from June, 2015
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Gender identity is a hot topic. As the Women's World Cup gets into gear, news and social media is awash with commentary on the event and the merits and demerits of women's Sport more broadly. Some of it is careful and considered, some of it caustic and controversial. Sensitivities are so heightened when it comes to discussing gender in Sport, that it can be difficult to have a reasoned discussion without one side or other resorting to mudslinging. The landscape is fraught with danger, and no doubt many disagreements lurk therein, but nevertheless, let's take a wander. First of all, let me present three different examples of the interface between sport and gender.