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Read Stephen Mennell being interviewed about Norbert Elias
in Sociologica, 2014

Read the January 2015 newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation
Norbert Elias died on 1 August 1990.
To mark the twentieth anniversary, the German radio station WDR3
(Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3. Programm) broadcast a fifteen
-minute programme in its daily ZeitZeichen series

You can find out more information about Elias by visiting the Norbert Elias Foundation website

What is Sociology?

Norbert Elias (author)
Artur Bogner (author)
Katie Liston (author)
Stephen Mennell (editor)
Publication date:
6th June 2012

Author Biography

NORBERT ELIAS (1897-1990) was one of the greatest sociologists of the twentieth century. He studied in Breslau and Heidelberg and served as Karl Mannheim's assistant in Frankfurt. In exile after 1933, first in France and then in Britain, he wrote his magnum opus On the Process of Civilisation. His whole oeuvre is now appearing in new scholarly editions in the Collected Works in English. Artur Bogner, University of Bayreuth, is a specialist on social development and armed conflicts; Katie Liston is Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport, University of Ulster; Stephen Mennell is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, UCD, a member of the Board of the Norbert Elias Foundation, Amsterdam, and General Editor of the Collected Works.


Translated by Grace Morrissey, Stephen Mennell and Edmund Jephcott, volume 5 of the "Collected Works of Norbert Elias" contains Elias' broadest statement of the fundamentals of sociology, in important respects very different from the discipline as it is institutionalised today. In his vision, sociology is concerned with the whole course of the development of human society. Especially important are the 'game models', which demonstrate the connections between power ratios, unintended consequences, unplanned long-term processes and the way people perceive and conceptualise the social processes in which they are caught up in interdependence with each other. This edition contains two extra chapters previously unpublished in English, one of them a substantial discussion of the legacy of Marx.