Responsibility for this volume of the new standard edition in German of the works of Norbert Elias was taken on behalf of the Editorial Board by Nico Wilterdink. Not untypically, the history of the book is a little complicated. The Established and the Outsiders was originally written in English, and published in 1965 by Frank Cass, London.The substance of the book is an empirical study of the tensions and power balance between working-class neighbourhoods near Leicester. Elias’s co-author, John Scotson, as a teacher and youth club leader, was intimately familiar with the area. Later, as an introduction to the Dutch translation of the book published in 1976, Elias wrote a substantial new introduction, entitled ‘A theoretical essay on established and outsider relations’ ,but this text remained unpublished in English until the revised edition from Sage in 1996. Later still,the original book, together  with the 1976 Introduction, was translated into German by Michael Schröter, and Elias made a further addition to the text. Writing now in German, Elias returned to the general principles of established –outsider relations in an essay on what the called the ‘Maycomb Model’, published in the first German edition in 1990. This was not included in revised English edition, and it is still not available in English translation. 

‘Further Facets of Established –Outsider Relationships: The Maycomb Model’, was written in the last months of Elias ’s life, in May –June 1990. In it, as Michael Schröter has reported and as I remember it ‘from the horse’s mouth’, Elias finally completed his old plan of using Harper Lee ’s famous book To Kill a Mocking Bird (1960), on the relationship between Negroes and Whites in Maycomb, Alabama, as another paradigmatic model of established –outsider relationships. This served as a stepping stone toward broadening the implications of his English study to all unequal relationships. Other pointers to this – besides the contents of this new essay itself – are the deletion of the two definite articles in the book ’s title (Etablierte und Außenseiter instead of The Established and the Outsiders) and the omission of the original subtitle of the book ‘A Sociological Enquiry into Community Problems’. An earlier step in this direction had been his ‘Theoretical essay on established and outsider relations’,written in 1976 for the translation of the book into the Dutch language. At the time, in discussions of these relationships and of such topics as Black Power, Elias often referred to Harper Lee ’s novel,but it did not surface in the ‘theoretical essay’ (which is also included in the new German edition). The translation of this book into the German language offered him another chance to use this novel as a peg in showing that so-called ‘race relations’ are understood far more properly as established –outsider relationships. This is how the essay on ‘Further Facets’ or ‘The Maycomb Model’ originated (for further details,see Schröter ’s Erfahrungen mit Norbert Elias ,Frankfurt a/M: Suhrkamp, 1997:251.2, 321). Its characteristic opening sentences are:‘Inequalities between groups and individuals belong to the recurring characteristics of human societies. Why they are,is an open question.’

Cas Wouters

source: Figurations no. 18 (Newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation), S. 2-3