Skip to main content

Fun and Recollection

  • 520 Accesses


As has been illustrated in the previous chapter, there are relationships between the experiences or sensations of having fun in the moment and our retelling or reconstruction of experiences as fun. The example of cycling is, in my experience, illustrative of a reconstructive process. I have often been riding with friends where I have found the ride tough. Struggling up Ditchling Beacon in Sussex, wishing I were anywhere else in the world and feeling as though I want to pass out or throw up or both. However, these moments of discomfort and unhappiness swiftly fade as the summit is crossed and the ride becomes easier. In the pub, sometime after the ride, my friends and I will agree that today’s ride was great fun, the scenery was beautiful and that it is very good to get out on your bike. In fact, I catch myself telling all sorts of people how much fun it is to ride a bike—particularly to those that don’t really like cycling—but when I think about it, whilst I think I like it in the moment, I rarely have fun. I think it is the same with many activities assumed to be fun. That is not to say that people are not enjoying such activities; it’s just that is a post hoc application of the status of fun to certain activities in order to make them explicable in positive terms to others. Fun offers not only positivity but also a lightness to the expression of experiences, and this narrative need not necessarily reflect how the thing being experienced actually felt.


  • Emotion Regulation Strategy
  • Collective Memory
  • Individual Memory
  • Unique Orientation
  • Cultural Mediation

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-137-31579-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   32.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   85.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)


  1. 1.

    Professional football at your fingertips!


  • Bryant, F., Smart, C., & King, S. (2005). Using the past to enhance the present: Boosting happiness through positive reminiscence. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 227–260.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Collet-Sabe, J., & Tort, A. (2015). What do families of the ‘professional and managerial’ class educate their children for? The links between happiness and autonomy. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(2), 234–249.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Coser, L. (1992). Introduction. In M. Halbwachs (Ed.), On collective memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Beauvoir, S. (1948). Ethics of ambiguity. New Jersey: Citadel Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Douglas, M. (1968). The social control of cognition: Some factors in joke perception. Man, 3(3), 361–376.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Einstein, G., Holland, L., McDaniel, M., & Guynn, M. (1992). Age-related deficits in prospective memory: The influence of task complexity. Psychology and Aging, 7(3), 471–478.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fine, G. A. (1983). Sociological approaches to the study of humor. In P. McGhee & J. Goldstein (Eds.), The handbook of humor research. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Halbwachs, M. ([1950] 1992). On collective memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mather, M., & Carstensen, L. (2005). Aging and motivated cognition: The positivity effect in attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(10), 496–502.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Phillips, D. (1969). Social class, social participation, and happiness: A consideration of interaction opportunities and investment. The Sociological Quarterly, 10(1), 3–21.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schlagman, S., Schulz, J., & Kvavilashvili, L. (2006). A content analysis of involuntary autobiographical memories: Examining the positivity effect in old age. Memory, 14(2), 161–175.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Weber, M. ([1904] 1971). The ideal type. In Thompson, K. & Tunstall, J. (1971) Sociological perspectives. Harmondsworth: Pelican.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Copyright information

© 2016 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Fincham, B. (2016). Fun and Recollection. In: The Sociology of Fun. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-230-35857-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-31579-3

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)