Disputed Pleasures

Disputed Pleasures : Sport and Society in Preindustrial England

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This work explores the development of English sport during the eight centuries preceding the industrial era. Focusing on outdoor activities that involved intergroup competition among adults, Thomas Henricks demonstrates that sport was a sophisticated and rational experience, connected to society in many subtle yet important ways. Accessible to readers in many disciplines and on many levels, the book charts the changes in sport preceding the modern era, serves as an introduction to the historical literature on English sport, traces the relationship between sport and shifting social patterns, and develops an original thesis of sport as an identity ceremony for its participants. The work begins with a detailed introduction to English sport and the historians, and continues with Henrick's thesis of sporting events as identity ceremonies. The next of five chapters trace the development of sport and society through five periods of English history: the feudal society of the early Middle Ages; the decay of feudalism and the later Middle Ages; the centralized administration and middle-class appeal of the Tudor era; the elitist nostalgia and French influence of the Stuart era, followed by the Puritan Revolution; and the celebration of private property and mixture of snobbery and social mingling of Georgian England. Each chapter is organized in a similar manner, beginning with a brief introduction to the social life of the times, followed by presentations of patterns within individual sports and a summary of dominant themes in sport during that era. A concluding chapter considers some sociological aspects of sport and society. Disputed Pleasures will be an important resource for courses in English social history, sociology, and the history of sport, as well as a significant addition to public and academic libraries.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12mm | 468g
  • Greenwood Press
  • Westport, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0313274533
  • 9780313274534

About Thomas S. Henricks

THOMAS S. HENRICKS is Professor of Sociology at Elon College in North Carolina. Specializing in the sociology of sport and popular culture, he is the author of numerous articles and reviews.show more

Review quote

?One closes the volume impressed by its scope and planning, at once broad and concise, and by the good sense of the author. It can be thoroughly recommended for students and scholars will find it an invaluable help with the study of this lengthy period, in which there is still so much to be found and said.?-International Journal of History & Sportshow more

Table of contents

Introduction Sport in Feudal England Sport in the Later Middle Ages Sport in Tudor England Sport in Stuart England Sport in Georgian England Sociological Reflections Selected Bibliography Indexshow more