• A quest for relaxation? A figurational analysis of the transformation of yoga into a global leisure time phenomenon

      Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, University of Chester
      Eric Dunning and Norbert Elias began developing their concept ‘quest for excitement’ in the 1960s. In this paper we consider the concept in the context of their work on the civilizing process and leisure in the sparetime spectrum, applying it to an analysis of the global diffusion and transformation of yoga. In so doing, we develop a preliminary theoretical account of its global popularity as a leisure-time movement form. We specifically consider the extent to which yoga’s transformation from the late 19th century onwards can be understood as a socially generated psychological quest for excitement rather than as a need for relaxation. We take a long-term developmental perspective, focusing on processes of globalization to explain the transformation of yoga into an increasing variety of forms. We argue that its global popularity is linked to its transformation into a diversity of styles, which provide flexible, individualized, non-competitive and health-oriented leisure opportunities that have become attractive to an increasing number of people. We conclude that the contouring of yoga in this way reflects the socially generated leisure time needs of complex societies. Our preliminary theoretical account, informed by the work of Dunning and colleagues illuminates how yoga, as a polymorphous social practice, provides leisure enclaves which can lead to an upsurge of satisfying emotions and hence can be psychologically restorative.
    • Sociology of sport in the balance: Critical reflections on some recent and more enduring trends

      Dunning, Eric; University of Leicester (Taylor & Francis, 2004)
      In his book Sociology in the Balance, the Dutch sociologist Johan Goudsblom attempted an overview of the development of sociology as a whole. This essay sets out ot provide a similar stocktaking of the sociology of sport. Its objectives are threefold: to mark any advances in knowledge which have been mae in the field in the century which recently drew to a close; toprovide a guide to the principal conflicts and difficulties which have arisen in the field; and to scholars to some of the mistakes that have been made and some of the recipes that been advocated for avoiding them.
    • 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, 2017-02-01)
      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