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Cricket and Civilizing Processes: A Response to Stokvis’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37(1

By Dominic Malcolm


Abstract This article examines Ruud Stokvis’s contention that the tendency of figurational sociol-ogists to focus on violence and its control would be unproductive in the study of the development of non-contact sports such as cricket and that the formal organization and standardization of modern sports are their defining features. Following a brief outline of Elias’s theory of civilizing processes, the relatively violent tenor of early (pre-1850s) cricket is demonstrated. An examination of the development of the game’s structural features (laws, customs, physical environment) illustrates that processes relating to the standardization and national diffusion of cricket are highly interdependent with measures to control the level of violence in the game. Thus, previously described characteristics of the developmental processes of relatively violent sports such as football, rugby and boxing have parallels in, and similarities with, the non-contact sport of cricket. Key words • civilizing processes • cricket development • Elias • violenc

Year: 2002
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