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En record del professor Eric Dunning

El 10 de febrer de 2019 en ha deixat el professor Eric Dunning. Havia nascut a Anglaterra el 27 de desembre de 1936. Va desenvolupar la major part de la seva carrera acadèmica a la University of Leicester on va ser catedràtic i darrerament professor emèrit.

Deixeble del conegut Norbert Elias va contribuir a la comprensió de l’esport modern des de l’òptica de la sociologia figurativa. Les seves publicacions són nombroses però volem destacar el llibre que va escriure conjuntament amb Norbert Elias que en anglès duia per títol Quest for excitement. Sport and leisure in the civilizing process (Oxford, Blackwell 1986). La traducció castellana es va titular Deporte y ocio en el proceso de la civilización (México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1991) Aquesta obra ha tingut una gran influència en la sociologia de l’esport al nostre país i moltes tesis doctorals i articles s’han inspirat de la seva perspectiva teòrica.

Eric Dunning fou un dels fundadors l’any 1966 del ICSS (International Committee for the Sociology of Sport) que l’any 1995 va canviar de nom per l’actual ISSA (International Sociology of Sport Association).

La seva relació amb l’INEF de Catalunya s’inicia l’any 1991 quan va ser convidat per fer unes conferències a l’Escola Catalana de l’Esport, en aquell moment dirigida per Francesc Ricart i Pidelaserra. En aquella trobada, juntament amb Paco Lagardera i Núria Puig, van iniciar les gestions per realitzar uns cursos intensius Erasmus cada any juntament amb altres col·legues d’universitats europees a més dels de Leicester (Eric Dunning i Ivan Waddington) i de l’INEF de Catalunya:  Jean Camy de Lyon (França), Klaus Heinemann i Knut Dietrich d’Hamburg (Alemanya), Nicola Porro de Cassino (Itàlia) i Rui Gomes de Coimbra (Portugal). Durant prop de vint anys, el grup es va reunir donant la oportunitat a estudiants i professorat jove a iniciar-se en el món de la recerca i el treball internacional. Els debats apassionats i profundament rigorosos entre Eric Dunning i Klaus Heinemann han quedat en la memòria de qui els va poder presenciar.

Però, per sobre de tot, el que mai oblidarem d’Eric Dunning era el seu amor per la vida i les ganes de gaudir-la a tota hora. Si els debats acadèmics eren atractius, les tardes després de la feina,  al voltant de la taula d’un pub anglès (on convidava en senyal de benvinguda l’alumnat arribat a la University of Leicester) o veient el mar en una terrassa mediterrània, encara ho eren més. En la seva companyia es podia riure sense problemes i mai va fer sentir inferior a ningú malgrat el seu immens saber. I, això sí, a l’endemà era el primer en arribar a la sala de conferències, la classe o el lloc de les reunions.

Eric, et trobarem a faltar però el teu llegat ja serà per sempre amb nosaltres.

 


 

In memory of Professor Eric Dunning

On February 10th, 2019 Professor Eric Dunning passed away. He was born in England on December 27th, 1936. He developed most of his academic career at the University of Leicester, where he was Professor, and recently Emeritus Professor.

Disciple of well-known Norbert Elias, he contributed to the understanding of modern sport from the figurational sociology. His publications list is large, but we would like to emphasize the book he wrote along with Norbert Elias, which was titled Quest for excitement. Sport and leisure in the civilizing process (Oxford, Blackwell 1986). This work has had a great influence in the field of sociology of sport in our country, and many doctoral theses and scientific papers have been inspired by its theoretical perspective.

Eric Dunning was one of the founders of the ICSS (International Committee for the Sociology of Sport) in 1966, which changed its name to the current ISSA (International Sociology of Sport Association) in 1995.

His relationship with the INEF of Catalonia began in 1991 when he was invited to give lectures at the Escola Catalana de l’Esport, which at that time was directed by Francesc Ricart i Pidelaserra. In that meeting, accompanied by Paco Lagardera and Núria Puig, they began the efforts to carry out intensive Erasmus courses every year, along with other colleagues from European universities that joined those from Leicester (Eric Dunning and Ivan Waddington) and from the INEF of Catalonia: Jean Camy from Lyon (France), Klaus Heinemann and Knut Dietrich from Hamburg (Germany), Nicola Porro from Cassino (Italy) and Rui Gomes from Coimbra (Portugal). The group met for nearly twenty years, giving young students and professors a chance to get started in the world of research and international work. The passionate and deeply rigorous debates between Eric Dunning and Klaus Heinemann have remained in the memory of those who could presence them.

However, above all, what we will never forget about Eric Dunning is his love for life and the desire to enjoy it at all times. If the formal academic debates were attractive, they were even more those discussed in the afternoon after work, around the table of an English pub (where he invited the new students of the University of Leicester as a welcome gesture) or watching the sea in a Mediterranean terrace. In his company, one could laugh without problems and he never made anyone feel inferior despite his immense knowledge. Of course, the following day he was the first to arrive at the conference room, the classroom or the meeting place.

Eric, we will miss you but your legacy will be forever with us.

  1. Nicola Porro
    febrer 12, 2019 a les 5:50 pm

    Thank you for mentioning this great scholar, passionate teacher and sincere friend. Together we have experienced a fruitful season of research and established deep human relationships among colleagues from different countries and different scientific backgrounds. We will miss him but his study and life lesson will not be lost. Nicola Porro

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