`This book confirms David Harris' status as a leading theorist in contemporary culture and leisure in the UK. He offers a distinctive, coherent and authoritative guide to the major concepts and debates that should engage leisure scholars and scholarship' - Dr Peter Bramham, Senior Lecturer in Leisure Studies, Leeds Metropolitan UniversityWritten with the needs of today's student in mind, the SAGE Key Concepts series provides accessible, authoritative and reliable coverage of the essential issues in a range of disciplines. Written in each case by experienced and respected experts in the subject area, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages understanding without sacrificing the level of detail and critical evaluation essential to convey the complexity of the issues.Key Concepts in Leisure Studies:• Provides a student-friendly guide to the key debates in leisure studies• Reflects recent developments in the field, encompassing related work in media studies, cultural studies, sports studies and sociology • Cross-references each 1500 word exposition to other concepts in the field• Offers definitions, section outlines and further reading guidance for independent learning• Is supported by the author's website http:/www.arasite.org/keyconc.html• Is essential reading for undergraduates and NVQ students in leisure studies.



Functionalism is a general term describing a number of linked approaches in social theory which tend to be (excessively?) interested in the formation of social solidarities. This interest is commonly found among politicians and spokespersons stressing the socially integrative role of sports and leisure (but with less sophistication).

Section Outline:Functionalism and its different manifestations in social theory. Durkheim and the functions of religion. Parker and the functions of leisure. Leisure and tourism, the generation of local solidarities and senses of the sacred: liminality, ‘flow’ and social commentary. Sport, leisure and social cohesion. Social conflict.

Functionalist ideas belong not just to a specialism associated with social theory, but are widespread in social commentary more generally. Most people if asked to justify government spending on leisure will respond ...

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