The problem of ideology in making sense of physical education and sport: reflections on the Colwell-Mansfield debate

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Abstract

Two papers in the European Physical Education Review by Colwell (1999) and Mansfield(this issue) have argued respectively against, and in favour of, a potential synthesisbetween feminism and figurational sociology as a vehicle for making more adequatesense of physical education and sport. This paper offers both selective summaries andreflections upon some of the theoretical implications arising from this exchange,specifically as it relates to sport in schools. The first sections offer some remarks aboutsociological theory and the ways in which the theoretical endeavour is bound up withwhat C. Wright Mills has termed ‘the sociological imagination’, one aspect of whichhas included the relatively recent emergence of a more reflexive, democratizing andsynthesizing generation of sociologists. The paper concludes that we do not have toeither agree or disagree with Colwell or Mansfield. Nor is there a need for a presentcentredapproach to, or resolution of, the theoretical issues arising from the exchange.Rather, there is scope for stimulating further this kind of dialogue between researchersof physical education, sport and gender and being well versed in these concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

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Physical Education and Training
physical education
Sports
ideology
Feminism
Imagination
Sociology
Midazolam
feminism
sociologist
sociology
dialogue
gender
school

Keywords

  • Key-words: feminism • figurational sociology • physical education • sociological theory •
  • values

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title = "The problem of ideology in making sense of physical education and sport: reflections on the Colwell-Mansfield debate",
abstract = "Two papers in the European Physical Education Review by Colwell (1999) and Mansfield(this issue) have argued respectively against, and in favour of, a potential synthesisbetween feminism and figurational sociology as a vehicle for making more adequatesense of physical education and sport. This paper offers both selective summaries andreflections upon some of the theoretical implications arising from this exchange,specifically as it relates to sport in schools. The first sections offer some remarks aboutsociological theory and the ways in which the theoretical endeavour is bound up withwhat C. Wright Mills has termed ‘the sociological imagination’, one aspect of whichhas included the relatively recent emergence of a more reflexive, democratizing andsynthesizing generation of sociologists. The paper concludes that we do not have toeither agree or disagree with Colwell or Mansfield. Nor is there a need for a presentcentredapproach to, or resolution of, the theoretical issues arising from the exchange.Rather, there is scope for stimulating further this kind of dialogue between researchersof physical education, sport and gender and being well versed in these concerns.",
keywords = "Key-words: feminism • figurational sociology • physical education • sociological theory •, values",
author = "Katie/K Liston",
note = "Reference text: Colwell, S. (1999) ‘Feminisms and Figurational Sociology: Contributions to Understandings of Sports, Physical Education and Sex/Gender’, European Physical Education Review 5(3): 219–40. Du Bois, B. (1983) ‘Passionate Scholarship: Notes on Values, Knowing and Method in Feminist Social Science’, in G. Bowles and R. Klein (eds) Theories of Women’s Studies, pp. 105–16. London: Routledge. Dunning, E. (1992) ‘Figurational Sociology and the Sociology of Sport: Some Concluding Remarks’, in E. Dunning and C. Rojek (eds) Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process, pp. 221–84. London: Macmillan. Dunning, E. (1999) Sport Matters. London: Routledge. Dunning, E. and Mennell, S. (2003) ‘Editors’ Introduction’, in E. Dunning and S. Mennell (eds) Norbert Elias, vol, pp. ix–xxxvii. London: SAGE. Elias, N. (1978) What is Sociology? London: Macmillan. Elias, N. (1987) ‘The Retreat of Sociologists into the Present’, Theory, Culture & Society 4(2/3): 223–49. Elias, N. (2007) Involvement and Detachment (Collected Words, vol. 8). Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Evans, J. and Penney, D. (2002) ‘Introduction’, in D. Penney (ed.) Gender and Physical Education: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions, pp. 3–13. London: Routledge. Goudsblom, J. (1977) Sociology in the Balance: A Critical Essay. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Green, K. (1999) ‘Editorial’, European Physical Education Review 5(3): 179–80. Green, K. (2002) ‘Physical Education Teachers in their Figurations: A Sociological Analysis of Everyday “Philosophies” in Physical Education’, Sport, Education and Society 7(1): 65–83. Green, K. (2006) ‘Physical Education and Figurational Sociology: An Appreciation of the Work of Eric Dunning’, Sport in Society 9(4): 650–65. Hargreaves, J. (1992) ‘Sex, Gender and the Body in Sport and Leisure: Has there been a Civilizing Process?’, in E. Dunning and C. Rojek (eds) Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process, pp. 161–83. London: Macmillan. Jarvie, G. (2006) Sport, Culture and Society: An Introduction. London: Routledge. Kay, T. (2006) ‘Daughters of Islam: Family Influences on Muslim Young Women’s Participation in Sport’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport 41(3/4): 339–55. Keat, R. and Urry, J. (1975) Social Theory as Science. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Kilminster, R. (2004) ‘From Distance to Detachment: Knowledge and Self-Knowledge in Elias’s Theory of Involvement and Detachment’, in S. Quilley and S. Loyal (eds) The Sociology of Norbert Elias, pp. 25–41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kirk, D., Macdonald, D. and O’Sullivan, M. (eds) (2006) The Handbook of Physical Education. London: SAGE. Liston, K. (2007) ‘Revisiting the Feminist–Figurational Exchange’, Sport in Society 10(4): 623–46. McArdle, W., Katch, F. and Katch, V. (2007) Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance (6th edn). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins. Maguire, J. and Young, K. (eds) (2002) Theory, Sport and Society. London: JAI, Elsevier Science. Mansfield, L. (2002) ‘Feminist and Figurational Sociology: Dialogue and Potential Synthesis’, in J. Maguire and K. Young (eds) Theory, Sport and Society, pp. 317–35. London: JAI, Elsevier Science. Mennell, S. (1992) Norbert Elias: An Introduction. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Nilges, L. (2006) ‘Feminist Strands, Perspectives, and Methodology for Research in Physical Education’, in D. Kirk, D. Macdonald and M. O’Sullivan (eds) The Handbook of Physical Education, pp. 76–94. London: SAGE. Penney, D. (ed.) (2002) Gender and Physical Education: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions. London: Routledge.",
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T1 - The problem of ideology in making sense of physical education and sport: reflections on the Colwell-Mansfield debate

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N1 - Reference text: Colwell, S. (1999) ‘Feminisms and Figurational Sociology: Contributions to Understandings of Sports, Physical Education and Sex/Gender’, European Physical Education Review 5(3): 219–40. Du Bois, B. (1983) ‘Passionate Scholarship: Notes on Values, Knowing and Method in Feminist Social Science’, in G. Bowles and R. Klein (eds) Theories of Women’s Studies, pp. 105–16. London: Routledge. Dunning, E. (1992) ‘Figurational Sociology and the Sociology of Sport: Some Concluding Remarks’, in E. Dunning and C. Rojek (eds) Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process, pp. 221–84. London: Macmillan. Dunning, E. (1999) Sport Matters. London: Routledge. Dunning, E. and Mennell, S. (2003) ‘Editors’ Introduction’, in E. Dunning and S. Mennell (eds) Norbert Elias, vol, pp. ix–xxxvii. London: SAGE. Elias, N. (1978) What is Sociology? London: Macmillan. Elias, N. (1987) ‘The Retreat of Sociologists into the Present’, Theory, Culture & Society 4(2/3): 223–49. Elias, N. (2007) Involvement and Detachment (Collected Words, vol. 8). Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Evans, J. and Penney, D. (2002) ‘Introduction’, in D. Penney (ed.) Gender and Physical Education: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions, pp. 3–13. London: Routledge. Goudsblom, J. (1977) Sociology in the Balance: A Critical Essay. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Green, K. (1999) ‘Editorial’, European Physical Education Review 5(3): 179–80. Green, K. (2002) ‘Physical Education Teachers in their Figurations: A Sociological Analysis of Everyday “Philosophies” in Physical Education’, Sport, Education and Society 7(1): 65–83. Green, K. (2006) ‘Physical Education and Figurational Sociology: An Appreciation of the Work of Eric Dunning’, Sport in Society 9(4): 650–65. Hargreaves, J. (1992) ‘Sex, Gender and the Body in Sport and Leisure: Has there been a Civilizing Process?’, in E. Dunning and C. Rojek (eds) Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process, pp. 161–83. London: Macmillan. Jarvie, G. (2006) Sport, Culture and Society: An Introduction. London: Routledge. Kay, T. (2006) ‘Daughters of Islam: Family Influences on Muslim Young Women’s Participation in Sport’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport 41(3/4): 339–55. Keat, R. and Urry, J. (1975) Social Theory as Science. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Kilminster, R. (2004) ‘From Distance to Detachment: Knowledge and Self-Knowledge in Elias’s Theory of Involvement and Detachment’, in S. Quilley and S. Loyal (eds) The Sociology of Norbert Elias, pp. 25–41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kirk, D., Macdonald, D. and O’Sullivan, M. (eds) (2006) The Handbook of Physical Education. London: SAGE. Liston, K. (2007) ‘Revisiting the Feminist–Figurational Exchange’, Sport in Society 10(4): 623–46. McArdle, W., Katch, F. and Katch, V. (2007) Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance (6th edn). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins. Maguire, J. and Young, K. (eds) (2002) Theory, Sport and Society. London: JAI, Elsevier Science. Mansfield, L. (2002) ‘Feminist and Figurational Sociology: Dialogue and Potential Synthesis’, in J. Maguire and K. Young (eds) Theory, Sport and Society, pp. 317–35. London: JAI, Elsevier Science. Mennell, S. (1992) Norbert Elias: An Introduction. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Nilges, L. (2006) ‘Feminist Strands, Perspectives, and Methodology for Research in Physical Education’, in D. Kirk, D. Macdonald and M. O’Sullivan (eds) The Handbook of Physical Education, pp. 76–94. London: SAGE. Penney, D. (ed.) (2002) Gender and Physical Education: Contemporary Issues and Future Directions. London: Routledge.

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N2 - Two papers in the European Physical Education Review by Colwell (1999) and Mansfield(this issue) have argued respectively against, and in favour of, a potential synthesisbetween feminism and figurational sociology as a vehicle for making more adequatesense of physical education and sport. This paper offers both selective summaries andreflections upon some of the theoretical implications arising from this exchange,specifically as it relates to sport in schools. The first sections offer some remarks aboutsociological theory and the ways in which the theoretical endeavour is bound up withwhat C. Wright Mills has termed ‘the sociological imagination’, one aspect of whichhas included the relatively recent emergence of a more reflexive, democratizing andsynthesizing generation of sociologists. The paper concludes that we do not have toeither agree or disagree with Colwell or Mansfield. Nor is there a need for a presentcentredapproach to, or resolution of, the theoretical issues arising from the exchange.Rather, there is scope for stimulating further this kind of dialogue between researchersof physical education, sport and gender and being well versed in these concerns.

AB - Two papers in the European Physical Education Review by Colwell (1999) and Mansfield(this issue) have argued respectively against, and in favour of, a potential synthesisbetween feminism and figurational sociology as a vehicle for making more adequatesense of physical education and sport. This paper offers both selective summaries andreflections upon some of the theoretical implications arising from this exchange,specifically as it relates to sport in schools. The first sections offer some remarks aboutsociological theory and the ways in which the theoretical endeavour is bound up withwhat C. Wright Mills has termed ‘the sociological imagination’, one aspect of whichhas included the relatively recent emergence of a more reflexive, democratizing andsynthesizing generation of sociologists. The paper concludes that we do not have toeither agree or disagree with Colwell or Mansfield. Nor is there a need for a presentcentredapproach to, or resolution of, the theoretical issues arising from the exchange.Rather, there is scope for stimulating further this kind of dialogue between researchersof physical education, sport and gender and being well versed in these concerns.

KW - Key-words: feminism • figurational sociology • physical education • sociological theory •

KW - values

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