Norbert Elias, Figurational Sociology and Feminisms

  • Katie Liston


This chapter explores the main contributions of the figurational sociological tradition to the study of sport and gender. It charts the development of figurational work on sport and gender since the publication of the pioneering text Quest for Excitement. Elias’ own elaborations on relations between the sexes are also reviewed. Building on this groundwork, the chapter offers an overview of some of the exchanges between feminists and “figurati”. Central in this connection are varied interpretations of the concept of involvement/detachment, critiques of the notion of scientific objectivity and varying approaches to the role of values in research. The chapter concludes with an Eliasian focus on more egalitarian forms of sex relations and the implications of this for future work on sport and gender.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie Liston
    • 1
  1. 1.Ulster UniversityNewtownabbeyIreland

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