Introduction: the sociological promise of Norbert Elias

Alex Law, Stephen Mennell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The aim of the Anthem Companion to Norbert Elias is to quarry Elias’s central model for its ongoing possibilities as a leavening agent for sociology. The very idea of an integrated theoretical model is anathema for a hyper-specialised field where a thousand flowers may bloom – but rarely cross-pollinate. The Anthem Companion demonstrate the critical vigour of Elias’s reconstruction of classical sociology as an empirically controlled orientation to the dilemmas, tensions, fears and possibilities of the changing power ratios of interdependent people. The fecundity of Elias’s legacy is rooted in his model-setting study of the civilising process. By developing and refining his central model of civilising processes Elias made significant contributions to a broad range of sociological problems including, inter alia, community studies, sport and leisure, art and artists, time, science, ageing and death, decivilising processes, ideological partisanship, nationalism, and language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe anthem companion to Norbert Elias
EditorsStephen Mennell, Alex Law
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAnthem Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781839986659, 9781839986666
ISBN (Print)9781839986673
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameAnthem Companions to Sociology
PublisherAnthem Press


  • Norbert Elias
  • Theoretical synthesis
  • Figurations
  • Unplanned long-term processes
  • Civilising process
  • Sociogenetic and psychogenetic investigations
  • Pacification processes
  • State formation processes
  • Self-regulation
  • Pronoun model


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction: the sociological promise of Norbert Elias'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this