The social significance of Snooker

I’ve posted before about potential sociological perspectives on Snooker (that post focused on the way that the sport illustrated globalization processes). I was just searching through some old issues of Theory, Culture & Society when I came across an article titled ‘The Social Significance of Snooker: Sports Games in the Age of Television‘. It was authored by Mike Bury and published in 1986. Unfortunately, the article requires a subscription to the journal. The first footnote shows just how topical this paper was when it was written, it refers to the fact that the 1985 classic world final between Steve Davis and Denis Taylor had just taken place (just after the completion of the article) and had been watched after midnight by an audience of 19 million viewers in the UK alone.

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4 Responses to The social significance of Snooker

  1. François says:

    Hey, if you need the article I can hook you up! Let me know.

  2. François says:

    Ok. BTW I’m a student of Dr. Kemple at UBC. I really love your blog and thinking in general. Very great stuff. I will have to read Punk sociology soon. I’m an MA student in sociology at UBC, working on a sociologically inclined intellectual biography of Shen Yuan, a Chinese sociologist based at Qinghua University (Beijing) and notable public intellectual. I’m interested in the question of spokespersonship, how does somebody become a voice for the voiceless (e.g. Chinese academic speaking for the mingong right, etc). The tension of spokespersonship in terms of negotiation and construction of stable intellectual self-concept is a big chunk of the story as I see it. It is fascinating to see how in his work, Shen Yuan is trying to build the proper boundary that ultimately merely make him a temporary voice for the voiceless. He is keenly afraid of being this type of intellectuals who just want to ‘steal the show’. I am partly obsessed with the idea of ideas as vibrant matters as Jane Bennett puts it, ideas as vibrant and associative non-humans as Latour puts it. Just saw your article ‘mobile ideas’. I dig it. Are you familiar with Kosseleck’s Begriffsgeschichte (conceptual history). This is an amazing body of work to start thinking more clearly about ideas, their diffusion, their emergence, their elasticity, etc….

    Lehmann, Hartmut and Melvin Richter, eds. 1996. The meaning of historical terms and concepts: New Studies on Begriffsgeschichte. Occasional Paper No. 15.. Washington D.C.: German Historical Institute.



    • Thanks Francois, really glad you like the blog. Your work sounds really interesting. Thanks for the suggestion for developing the mobile ideas piece. That piece was based around some research done by James Allen-Robertson (who is now a lecturer at the University of Essex). It’s interesting to think about how ideas spread as a result if decentralised media forms. Suggests the potential for media to define the production and dissemination of knowledge. Thanks for your comment, if you do go on to read it I hope you like Punk Sociology.

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