Part of the series, Heritage of Sociology (Donald Levine, series editor), a volume of selected writings by Norbert Elias (1897-1990) is edited & introduced by Stephen Mennell & Johan Goudsblom. Born as part of a German-Jewish family in Breslau, Poland, Elias received his doctorate in Heidelberg while working with Karl Mannheim & Alfred Weber, younger brother of Max Weber. Exiled in Paris, France, during the war years, Elias began work on what would become his magnum opus, The Civilizing Process (1978, 1982), a two-volume study of changing manners among the European upper classes from the Middle Ages to the present. Elias revealed how often minute changes in manners registered important transformations of power relations in European society. Of particular importance was how he linked the individual, social, & global levels of analysis into a fine-grained analysis of social change over a long period of European history. The power & uniqueness of this study was not immediately recognized in the academic world. While Elias continued to extend these insights, British sociology was dominated in the post-WWII years by the functionalism of Talcott Parsons. Elias applied his theory of the civilizing process to issues of civilization & state formation. Much of this work took the form of game theoretical models to analyze the role of power in the civilizing process. Other aspects of his writings included discussions of knowledge as a source of power, particularly in the academy. It was not until the late 1960s, when Elias was in his early 70s, that his work finally won critical acclaim. An Introduction accompanies 15 Chpts with Notes in III PARTS. 95 References. D. M. Ryfe


source: Sociological Abstracts, Inc.