A sociological analysis of the Scottish Highland Games
Over the last two decades, or more, there has been a considerable interest in the sociological analysis of sport. While a number of Canadian, American and English sociologists and cultural critics have attempted to locate the development of various indigenous sporting forms within an analysis of their own culture, very few sociological accounts of Scottish sporting forms exist. This study deals with the development of the Scottish Highland Games. This study contends that, while an explanation of the complex ways in which this sporting form has developed provides a worthwhile area of sociological investigation, it is also capable of raising questions about Highland and Scottish dependency, development and cultural identity. An initial synthesis of some of the strengths and weaknesses within the sociological writings on sport provides the basis for developing an analysis of the Scottish Highland Games. This draws upon the concepts of dependency, culture and figurational development as providing axial principles for explaining the complex ways in which this Highland tradition has developed.