Elias and WWW

Elias and WWW

The essays accessed from this page provide discussions of ideas drawn from the work of social theorist Norbert Elias and operationalising these within the conceptual and analytical framework of the WWW project. They provide a detailed overview of the ways in which Elias’s work has been used to inform WWW research and analysis.

They are exercises in ‘thinking with Elias’, rather than ‘applying’ his ideas. This is not least because Elias himself would have been dismayed at the latter, having the conviction from his habilitation dissertation (The Court Society) onwards that things shape up differently in different historical, social and political circumstances and so sociological analysis needs to respond to this. Therefore in these discussions, his work is used and also sometimes departed from in thinking analytically about South Africa, its past and its unfolding present. They engage with a range of material on South Africa’s past and present as well as the work of Elias. How can his theoretical ideas best be drawn on and what needs to be abandoned or changed? Do they ‘travel’ to times and places very different from the ones he investigated? Are his ideas Eurocentric? Is there something specific about sociogenesis and change in South Africa? Read on!

  1. Thinking with Elias
  2. Figurations & change
  3. De/civilising processes
  4. Figuration & whiteness
  5. Civilising & violence
  6. Events & change
  7. Generations & crisis
  8. Elias & Eurocentrism
  9. The Racialising Process
  10.  The Shadow State and Racialising Processes
  11. IN PROGRESS – Elias & Letters: Mozart, Mandela & ‘civilising’processes

Last updated: 6 May 2021