Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 1 (2016)

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Interpreting Huizinga through Bourdieu: A New Lens for Understanding the Commodification of the Play Element in Society and Its Effects on Genuine Community

Samuel Keith Duncan


This article explores the transformation of play in the sport field by combining Johan Huizinga’s historical observations of play with Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of field, capital and habitus, using Australian football in the AFL as a case study.

By developing this theory, this analysis provides a means of understating how the economic and media fields have transformed play, which has ultimately weakened the community.

Furthermore, by interpreting Huizinga’s observations using Bourdieu’s concepts, I have provided Huizinga’s observations with a theoretical framework and structure that ensures his observations can be applied to today’s society to understand how and why the play element has changed and what the consequences of such change are for the community.

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