Norbert Elias and Modern Social Theory

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SAGE, 2001 M01 26 - 198 pages
Offering a fascinating survey of Elias's life and writings, Dennis Smith traces the growth of his reputation. He is the first author to confront Elias's work with the contrasting theories of Talcott Parsons, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault and Zygmunt Bauman. He also illustrates how Elias's insights can be applied to understand Western modernity and social and political change. Smith shows why Elias is important for sociology, but he is also clear sighted about the limitations of Elias's approach.

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Contents

Culture and civilization
20
THE WIDER DEBATE
43
Parsons and Elias
66
Eliass Case against Parsons
73
The Dynamics of Intellectual Development
83
The Great Escape
93
Some Similarities
101
The Self as a Problem
109
TOWARDS GLOBAL MODERNITY
134
Shame and humiliation
148
A civilized debate
167
Bibliography
181
Index
192
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About the author (2001)

Dennis Smith spent 18 years with the New York City Fire Department. Smith lives in New York City.

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