Sports' Sociology

Article excerpt

SPORTS' SOCIOLOGY Review of Cristina Gavriluta, Nicu Gavriluta, Sociologia sportului. Toerii, metode, aplicatii (Sports' Sociology. Theories, methods, applications), (Iasi: Polirom Publishing House, 2010)

Key Words: Sports' sociology, symbolical behaviour, dialectics of sacred and profane, myth, ritual, Cristina Gavriluta, Nicu Gavriluta

In the contemporary society one cannot ignore the necessity of reflecting on some distinct theories, methods, or practices in the field of sociology of sports. Sociology has expanded its field of investigation to such an extent that its development on new areas or on some new levels or horizons of the social reality becomes a common fact for researchers. The evolution of the specializations and sub-fields of sociology has known an unprecedented increase. As a result of the expansion of this field have appeared, among others, Sociology of Ethics, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Science, Sociology of Knowledge, Sociology of Education, Medical Sociology, Rural Sociology, Urban Sociology, Military Sociology, International relations' Sociology, Economic Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Sports' Sociology etc.

The volume Sports' Sociology. Theories, methods, applications, written by Cristina Gavriluta and Nicu Gavriluta (two of the most prominent names in the field of academic research of the young generation of sociologists and anthropologists) draws our attention on this latter sub-field.

Cristina Gavriluta is a sociologist and anthropologist and works as a Ph.D lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Sciences of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social and Political Sciences of Al. I. Cuza University, Iasi. Cristina Gavriluta's original perspective on the interpretation of divination and on the social phenomena, from an anthropological viewpoint, is particularly remarkable. Her work is not by chance considered by exegetes as "an academic product to be regarded as a milestone in the socio-anthropological Romanian literature".1

Well known sociologist, anthropologist, and essayist, Ph. D. Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences, Al. I. Cuza University, Nicu Gavriluta has the merit of bringing a new perspective in the sociological and anthropological research in Romania. Thus,"valuing his creativity as a professor and researcher, the author relies on the intellectual performance of current ideas and interpretations. Through his work he contributes to a renewal of the anthropological discourse and also to re-establishing of the discipline according to the contemporary social and cultural realities."2

In Romania, the researches regarding sport's sociology are only at the beginning. These types of intercessions are included into the trial to sketch the level, on which the sport is situated within the Romanian area, including all the things that are supposed by the administrative organization of the sport's field. The book written by Cristina Gavriluta and Nicu Gavriluta does not avoid the classic themes regarding the importance of people's education in favour of an active life, the importance of stimulating and organizing sport events, the importance of selling sports equipment from the perspective of the producers and of the specialized sellers etc.3 Though, beyond general sociological issues and certain technical aspects, one of the questions that the book attempts to answer to is: how can we explain the fact that sports exert a powerful fascination on large categories of population?

A possible answer can be found within the chapters that reflect the constant and remarkable preoccupations that the two authors have in the field of sociology and anthropology of religion. 4 This perspective analyses the sports phenomena as being strongly related to the evolution of the role of the religious feeling within the modern society. It brings up not only the image of a separation between religion and politics, between church and state5, but also the image of the loss of the sacred within the public space6, or the image of the redistribution of roles and responsibilities regarding institutional decisions and public politics. …