• Baseball: Myths and modernization

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004)
      This book chapter discusses the processes behind the development of baseball and in particular, the myth that baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in 1839.
    • 'Friends as enemies': A sociological analysis of the relationship among touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (SAGE, 06/08/2015)
      This paper examines the relationship among male touring professional golfers from a figurational sociological standpoint. The paper is based on 20 interviews from players with experience playing at various levels on the EPGA professional tours and a level ‘above’ that. The results indicate a workplace culture where many begin to adopt the attitudes and behaviors that encourage the development of networks of temporary ‘we-group’ alliances. The ‘touring’ aspects of professional golf means many players strive to forge these alliances to help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and homesickness while away for long periods of time. Such stresses are intensified given the globalization of sport generally and the associated increases in labor market migration that has become commonplace. The urge to develop friendship networks constrains players to behave in a manner expected of them rather than in a way that reflects their actual emotions, such as maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times like spells of poor performances and time away from their families. The relationships among players on tour is, however, non-permanent and/or partially changeable. Players are ‘friends’, characterized by togetherness and camaraderie, while, at the same, showing evidence of tensions and conflict as they are ultimately in direct competition with each other for a share of the overall prize money. Key words: professional golf, workplace relations, sport labor migration, figurational sociology, friendship networks
    • John Moores and the ‘professional’ baseball leagues in 1930s England

      Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (Routledge, 2007-03)
      This article discusses an attempt, inspired and mainly financed by John Moores, to establish baseball in England in the 1930s. ‘Professional’ leagues were set up in 1936 in Lancashire, Yorkshire and London. However, the English press, particularly the national press, failed to support the development of baseball in England.
    • ‘Life in the Travelling Circus’: A Study of Loneliness, Work Stress, and Money Issues in Touring Professional Golf

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Myerscough College; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2017-06)
      This article examines the effects of globalization on the well-being of migrant professional athletes. Interviews with 20 touring professional golfers reveal that players experience many of the personal problems – such as loneliness, isolation, low decision latitude, low social support, and effort-reward imbalance – which have been identified as “strong predictors of mental ill-health” (Leka & Jain, 2010, p. 65). Feelings of loneliness and isolation developed as players were regularly apart from family and friends, and spent most of their time with other golfers whom they had somewhat superficial relationships with. These feelings coupled with, for many, uncertain income generated through golf added further to their work-related anxieties. Overall, results highlight the importance of considering how workplace anxieties and vulnerabilities impact on athlete migrants’ health and well-being.
    • Local status and power in area-based health improvement partnerships

      Powell, Katie; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Sheffield ; Hedmark University College, Norway ; University of Chester (SAGE, 01/04/2014)
      Area-based initiatives (ABIs) have formed an important part of public policy towards more socio-economically deprived areas in many countries. Co-ordinating service provision within and across sectors has been a common feature of these initiatives. Despite sustained policy interest in ABIs, little empirical work has explored relations between ABI providers and partnership development within this context remains under-theorised. This paper addresses both of these gaps by exploring partnerships as a social and developmental process, drawing on concepts from figurational sociology to explain how provider relations develop within an ABI. Qualitative methods were used to explore, prospectively, the development of an ABI targeted at a town in the north west of England. A central finding was that, although effective delivery of ABIs is premised on a high level of coordination between service providers, the pattern of interdependencies between providers limits the frequency and effectiveness of cooperation. In particular, the interdependency of ABI providers with others in their organisation (what is termed here ‘organisational pull’) constrained the ways in which they worked with providers outside of their own organisations. ‘Local’ status, which could be earned over time, enabled some providers to exert greater control over the way in which provider relations developed during the course of the initiative. These findings demonstrate how historically constituted social networks, within which all providers are embedded, shape partnership development. The theoretical insight developed here suggests a need for more realistic expectations among policy makers about how and to what extent provider partnerships can be managed. Keywords: partnership, collaboration, community services, area-based initiatives, organisational pull, figurational sociology
    • ‘Pressure to play?’ A sociological analysis of professional football managers’ behaviour towards injured players

      Law, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; York St John University; UIniversity of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 05/05/2017)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines professional football managers’ attitudes towards injured players. Following interviews with 10 managers, as with previous research, we found that managers have an expectancy that players are rarely fully fit. Players were stigmatised when they were seemingly unwilling to play when a manager encouraged them to. However, we also found that many managers shaped, in part, by their habitus formed from their own experiences as a player, showed greater empathy towards injured players. Many claimed they would not risk the long-term health of players, although at times, managers at the lower levels felt more constrained to take certain risks. We argue this is an unintended outcome of the increasing pressures on managers to succeed with smaller squads. The increasing emphasis and reliance on ‘sport science’ enabled managers at the higher levels to have a more supportive approach to managing injuries not previously identified in existing literature.
    • Professional golf - A license to spend money? Issues of money in the lives of touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Pritchard, Ian; Myerscough College ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (SAGE, 11/11/2014)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines issues of money that are central to touring professional golfers’ workplace experiences. Based on interviews with 16 professionals, results indicate the monetary rewards available for top golfers continues to increase, however, such recompense is available to relatively small numbers and the majority fare poorly. Results suggest that playing on tour with other like-minded golfers fosters internalized constraints relating to behaviour, referred to as ‘habitus’, whereby many players ‘gamble’ on pursuing golf as their main source of income despite the odds against them. Golfers are constrained to develop networks with sponsors for financial reasons which has left some players with conflicting choices between regular money, and adhering to restrictive contractual agreements, or the freedom to choose between different brands.
    • Research is a messy process: A case study of a figurational sociology approach to conventional issues in social science research methods

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (2004)
      This article aims to provide an overview of a figurational approach to research methods by utilising a case study of specific research undertaken into the global diffusion of baseball. The article outlines the figurational approach to research in general; in other words, what 'doing' figurational research entails and provides outlines of how this approach necessarily impacts on one's research strategy, design and methods, respectively.
    • Sport policy and development: An introduction

      Bloyce, Daniel; Smith, Andy; University of Chester (Routledge, 2010)
      This book discusses the development of sports policy, government involvement in sports policy, the development of community sports, school sports, elite sports development, and the development of mega-events such as the Olympic games.
    • Sports administration on the hoof: The three points for a win ‘experiment’ in English soccer

      Bloyce, Daniel; Murphy, Patrick; University of Chester (Routledge, 2008)
      This article discusses the impact of the three points for a win reform introduced in 1981 by the English Football League.
    • Theorising lifestyle drift in health promotion: explaining community and voluntary sector engagement practices in disadvantaged areas

      Powell, Katie; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Sheffield, Hedmark University College, University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 24/07/2017)
      The past two decades have seen an increasing role for the UK community and voluntary sector (CVS) in health promotion in disadvantaged areas, largely based on assumptions on the part of funders that CVS providers are better able to engage ‘hard-to-reach’ population groups in services than statutory providers. However, there is limited empirical research exploring CVS provider practices in this field. Using ethnographic data this paper examines the experiences of a network of CVS providers seeking to engage residents in health promoting community services in a disadvantaged region in the North of England. The paper shows how CVS providers engaged in apparently contradictory practices, fluctuating between an empathically informed response to complex resident circumstances and (in the context of meeting externally set targets) behavioural lifestyle approaches to health promotion. Drawing on concepts from figurational sociology, the paper explains how lifestyle drift occurs in health promotion as a result of the complex web of relations (with funders, commissioners and residents) in which CVS providers are embedded. Despite the fact that research has revealed the impact of targets on the work of the CVS before, this paper demonstrates more specifically the way in which monitoring processes within CVS contracts can draw providers into the neoliberal lifestyle discourse so prevalent in health promotion.
    • Violence, competition and the emergence and development of modern sports: Reflections on the Stokvis-Malcolm debate

      Green, Ken; Liston, Katie; Smith, Andy; Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (SAGE, 2005)
      This article discusses the place of violence reducation in the socio-genesis of sports. It focuses on the debate between Dominic Malcolm and Ruud Stokvis.
    • What happened to the legacy from London 2012? A sociological analysis of the processes involved in preparing for a grassroots sporting legacy from London 2012 outside of the host city

      Lovett, Emily L.; Bloyce, Daniel; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 01/02/2017)
      Preparations for London 2012 included promises for a sporting legacy across Britain. APS data suggest that, despite a slight spike in 2012, we have not experienced the rise in participation promised. The importance of preparations for legacy were well documented but little research has examined these processes. We examine planning for sporting legacy within a non-Olympic city in England, Birmingham. 37 semi-structured interviews were conducted with people delivering sport in Birmingham to provide a figurational analysis of relationships involved. The change in government during the economic recession saw budget cuts and a reduction in sport development personnel. Whilst various organisations struggled financially, others wanted to link to legacy. This increase in groups involved led to confusion and the unintended outcome of ‘initiativitis’. In trying to leverage legacy, a strategic approach to managing potential opportunities with clear communication of opportunities is vital. A belief in inherent inspiration cannot be relied upon. Key words: London 2012, sport legacy, figurational sociology, Birmingham, initiativitis, school sports partnerships, policy, inherent inspiration, demonstration effect
    • When transport policy becomes health policy: A documentary analysis of active travel policy in England

      Bloyce, Daniel; White, Christopher; University of Chester (Elsevier, 17/09/2018)
      There has been a succession of policy documents related to active travel published by the British government since the implementation of a National Cycle Network (NCN) in 1995. However, as the latest National Travel Survey (NTS) reveals, the number of journeys made by bike in the UK has remained steadfastly around only 2% (Department for Transport [DfT], 2018a). By using documentary analysis of the available official policy documents and statements, the aim of this paper is to make sense of the policies that have been published concerning active travel (AT) in England. This is done from a figurational sociological perspective. Three key themes emerge from the analysis: (1) the rhetorical, advisory level of the vast majority of the policies; (2) the reliance on a wide network of local authorities to implement AT policy; and (3) the focus placed on individuals to change their behaviour. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that despite a large number of policy publications from a range of government departments claiming to promote AT, little has actually changed in this time period in terms of a national agenda. Despite the successive policies, it seems there is little appetite on behalf of recent governments to make widespread infrastructural changes, where instead the focus has largely been on persuading the individual to seek more active modes of travel, increasingly for their own, individual ‘health’ gains.