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Fun is a complex thing. It is experienced in the moment but is also a discourse, applied retrospectively. It is a part of the glue that binds together social groups and also informs individuals’ identity. It is something that is unruly and spontaneous but has recently become part of a movement towards organised forms. It is a battleground in schools and work between the will of students or workers to be autonomous and carefree against the wishes of forces of control and production. It is important and frivolous. Our experience of it is ours alone yet it has to resonate with others in order to be recognised as fun. It is related to pleasure and happiness but is distinct from both. This book has not sought to simplify this complexity but rather to acknowledge, and to a certain extent, celebrate it. Whilst I have presented a model of fun (Chap. 2), this is just a suggestion of how to discern fun from other affective domains. I have not intended to be overly reductionist in describing or explaining fun. Like Blythe and Hassenzahl, I see fun as sitting along continua in the relationship it has with its constituent components. Rather than presenting absolutes it is more sensible to talk about degrees, when characterising where an experience of fun sits in relation to, for example, commitment. The other purpose of this book is to present everyday accounts of fun. The data represented here are the thoughts of people that had not spent much time hitherto wondering what their fun consisted of. For many it was an interesting and surprising exercise. I received messages and had conversations with lots of people saying that they had spent a long time after being asked the questions in the survey, pondering quite how and when they had fun. It sparked a great number of conversations between people and for me that is a positive consequence of having initiated this particular branch of a sociology of fun.


  • Hassenzahl
  • Happiness
  • Complex Things
  • Pleasure
  • Team Building Events

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  1. 1.

    I am aware that this sounds like a contradiction in terms.


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

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  • Print ISBN: 978-0-230-35857-7

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