NORBERT ELIAS (1897-1990) was one of the greatest sociologists of the twentieth century. He studied with Alfred Weber in Heidelberg and served as Karl Mannheim's assistant in Frankfurt. On Hitler's coming to power, he went into exile, first in France and then in Britain. His magnum opus The Civilising Process received little attention when it was published in Switzerland in 1939 and only after Elias's formal retirement in 1962 were most of his other books and essays published. International intellectual celebrity came to him right at the end of his long life. JOHN L. SCOTSON (1928-80) was a schoolteacher and postrgraduate student of Norbert Elias at the University of Leicester. CAS WOUTERS teaches at the University of Utrecht.
In "The Established and the Outsiders", Elias and Scotson explain differences in power and rank between two very similar groups - both working class - in a local community studied in the early 1960s. They show how one group monopolised sources of power and used them to exclude and stigmatise members of the other, pinpointing the role of gossip in the process. In a later theoretical introduction, Elias advanced a general theory of power relations, applying the established-outsiders model to changing power balances between classes, ethnic groups, colonised and colonisers, men and women, parents and children, gays and straights. A further theoretical development in the last year of his life is an essay inspired by Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mocking Bird", published here in English for the first time.
Norbert Elias (1897-1990)
Note on the text
Preface to the first edition
Towards a theory of established-outsider relations
Considerations of procedure
Neighbourhood relations in the making
Overall picture of zone 1 and zone 2
The mother-centred families of zone 2
Local associations and the 'old families' network'
Overall picture of zone 3
Observations on gossip
Young people in Winston Parva
Further aspects of established-outsider relations
- the Maycomb model
Appendix I Sociological aspects of identification
Appendix II A note on the concepts 'social structure' and 'anomie'
Appendix III On the relationship of 'family' and 'community'