Quest For Excitement: Sport and Leisure in Civilizing Process - Norbert Elias & Eric Dunning

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In this long awaited book building on Norbert Elias's pioneering ideas on the civilizing process' the authors review aspects of sport in society from classical Greek wrestling to the English gentleman's foxhunt, from medieval ball games to modern soccer violence, to develop a theory of leisure which encompasses biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives. 

Why do people choose to spend their leisure time in sports which verge on violence? What impulses are involved? Do the violence in and around sport, and the group behavior sport gives rise to, reflect social and psychological needs and trends? All these questions are asked; and finally the 'quest for excitement' is looked at in its role as a male preserve in the involving balance of power between sexes.


Basil Blackwell. 1986. Hardback. 288 pages. Ex-library