On Civilization, Power, and Knowledge: Selected Writings
Nobert Elias (1897-1990) is among the great sociologists of the twentieth century. Born in Germany, Elias earned a doctorate in philosophy and then turned to sociology, working with Max Weber's younger brother, Alfred Weber, and with Karl Mannheim. He later fled the Nazi regime in 1935 and spent most of his life in Britain. He is best known for his book, The Civilizing Process, wherein he traces the subtle changes in manners among the European upper classes since the Middle Ages, and shows how those seemingly innocuous changes in etiquette reflected profound transformations of power relations in society. He later applied these insights to a wide range of subjects, from art and culture to the control of violence, the sociology of sports, the development of knowledge and the sciences, and the methodology of sociology.
This volume is a carefully chosen collection of Elias's most important writings and includes many of his most brilliant ideas. The development of Elias's thinking during the course of his long career is traced along with a discussion of how his work relates to other major sociologists and how the various selections are interconnected. The result is a consistent and stimulating look at one of sociology's founding thinkers.
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The Social Constraint towards SelfConstraint
Diminishing Contrasts Increasing Varieties
The Development of the Concept of Civilite
The Changing Functions of Etiquette
Mozart The Artist in the Human Being
The Loneliness of the Dying
The Genesis of Sport in Antiquity
The Changing Balance of Power between the Sexes in Ancient Rome
Involvement and Detachment
Observations on Gossip
Time and Timing
Homo Clausus The Thinking Statues
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affects Alfred Weber balance of power become behaviour Catullus century changes characteristic cial civilite civilizing process competition complex concept conduct connection conscience consciousness contests continuum course court dependent Descartes detachment differentiated Elias's Eric Dunning example existence experience expression fact fantasies feelings force formation free-style wrestling functions game-contests German Gratian greater Greek groups hand highly homo clausus human husband idea impulses individual interdependence interweaving involved Karl Mannheim kind king knowledge later less marriage Max Weber means monopoly Mozart nature non-human Norbert Elias observed one's organization particular pattern perhaps person phenomena physical violence played players position problems question reference relation relationship relatively represented Roman Roman Republic Rome rules scientific self-control sense society sociologists sociology specific sport stage standards Stephen Mennell structure struggle super-ego theory thinking tion tradition transformation understand warrior Weimar Republic whole women
Page 37 - The image of the mobile figurations of interdependent people on a dance floor perhaps makes it easier to imagine states, cities, families, and also capitalist, communist, and feudal systems as figurations. By using this concept we can eliminate the antithesis, resting finally on different values and ideals, immanent today in the use of the words 'individual
Page 37 - society'. One can certainly speak of a dance in general, but no one will imagine a dance as a structure outside the individual or as a mere abstraction. The same dance figurations can certainly be danced by different people; but without a plurality of reciprocally oriented and dependent individuals there is no dance.