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Historical Frameworks and Sporting Research

James, G (2016) Historical Frameworks and Sporting Research. The International Journal of the History of Sport. ISSN 1743-9035

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been a wealth of research into how the game of association football developed. However, rather than establishing a common theme this research has led to competing theories with the debate dividing opinion on how the game of football was developed and propagated. While debate is healthy, the approach taken by some could lead to fellow academics looking to those engaged in sport history as unprofessional. This paper seeks to propose a way forward with academics working towards an all-encompassing history of the sport, by suggesting the adoption of a framework based on the work of Fernand Braudel, where indepth analysis of individual events is combined with the identification of transformational cycles. The paper concludes by suggesting that historians interested in soccer’s early history work together within the framework to develop a more detailed and all-encompassing early history of the sport. This framework will not claim that either the orthodox or revisionist view is accurate, instead it will determine how best to work those debates into an all-encompassing approach while searching for detailed evidence on what was actually occurring at local levels.

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