By Carlos Gonzalez Santamaria (alias ''Halle'')
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Extra info for Cartoon Origami 1
More particularly, leisure and sport appear to have been neglected as objects of sociological reflection and research – I am thinking here of their absence or low status as topics covered in mainstream textbooks and theories – because they are seen as falling on the negatively valued side of a set of conventionally perceived and overlapping dichotomies such as those between work and leisure, mind and body, seriousness and pleasure, economic and non-economic phenomena, the ‘rational’ and the ‘irrational’, ‘real life’ and ‘fantasy’, and ‘the useful’ and ‘the useless’.
Abrams grasped Elias’s contribution in this regard when he wrote: The most remarkable recent attempt to contain the social and the individual within a unified scheme of sociological analysis is probably that made by Norbert Elias. In The Civilizing Process Elias gives us both a principled critique of the dualism of conventional social analysis and, by way of a minutely documented case study of the ‘history of manners’, a thoroughly substantiated presentation of an alternative theoretical position.
Arguably, however, it provides a means for avoiding a major problem that has plagued sociology and philosophy for years, what is called in philosophical terms the ‘agency–structure dilemma’, the problem of finding a way of conceptualizing the relations between individuals and societies in a way that is neither reifying nor reductionist; that is, which neither metaphysically postulates the existence in societies of supraindividual structures that are ‘real’, nor sees societies simply as aggregates of detached and independent individuals.