Figurational and Feminist Perspective on Alcohol Culture

Sports & Recreation
Pages 10 (2510 words)
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There are many reasons why sociologists turn to theories to help explain different aspects of a particular culture. Norbert Elias said "A theory gives a man at the foot of a mountain a bird's eye view of routes and relationships that he cannot see for himself." (1978, p.


In the same notion, there are many different theories that can lead to different interpretations of the same events. Two of these are the theory that Elias developed called figurational theory and then there are the feminist theories, both liberal and separatist. All three of these theories can bring insight to the use of alcohol in the sports but each one also takes a different view of many aspects of the culture including how alcohol is used, why it is used, what meaning is can be derived from the usage in the context, and how it can affect different classes in the culture such as the differences between male and female roles. When one takes into account the use of theories, then one can see the whole picture better, such as a bird can, than just one small piece, such as the man at the bottom of the mountain.
Elias's main contribution to sports sociology is his figurational theory. His Western Europe theory was a historical based theory, which focused on the idea that people are interdependent and not independent. He believed that these people created networks that he called "figurations". In order to understand the people, the researcher has to be able to understand these figurations. These figurations are the way in which people interact and help each other. ...
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