The foundations of the sociology of Norbert Elias

Los fundamentos de la sociología de Norbert Elias

The book of Jesus Romero Moñivas presents the most complete introduction in Spain the thought of Norbert Elias, “the prophet” in the historical sociology and the process of civilization. It is divided into three major parts: the first brings together the essentials metasociológicos of the project sociological Elias. The second focuses on the historical foundations, conceptual and methodological sociology as a scientific discipline according to the German sociologist. Finally, the third is dedicated to the thematic underpinnings or axes that run through its production of sociological empirical. The title chosen responds to the two-fold purpose: on the one hand, to make a study of the fundamentals (i.e., “fundamental”) of the sociology of Elias; and, on the other hand, explain the importance of fundamentals (that is to say, the base meta-empirical) claim that sociology. It is a useful introduction for all those students and teachers of sociological theory looking for a full synthesis of the work of Elias, but it is also aimed at specialists in the work of the German sociologist, through the abundant discussions to the foot of the page. Know and study to this peculiar sociologist, far from ideological and dispositions, is an exciting adventure in intellectual and existential.


Buy Book

Index of chapters of the book

  • Foreword by Stephen Mennell and Fernando Ampudia de Haro – 13
  • General introduction – 19
  • General bibliography-cited – 33
  • Brief biographical sketch about Norbert Elias – 43
    • §1. The dynamic ontology, emergentista and non-dualistic, Elias – 47
      • 1.1. General refusal of metaphysical dualism and monism physicalist – 47
      • 1.2. Emergency levels irreducible: the great evolution – 52
      • 1.3. Reality as process in front of the fixity ontological – 57
    • §2. The conception of the human being underlying the sociology eliasiana: an anthropology personalistic cutting sociological – 61
      • 2.1. The dialectic between the biological and the social in the human being – 62
      • 2.2. Men aperti in front of Homo clausus: the radical dependence of the individual on the other – 67
      • 2.3. An anthropology dynamics: the human being as an open process – 72
    • §3. The epistemology eliasina in front of the kantismo – 77
      • 3.1. The rejection of the double dualism of subject-subject and subject-object: the homo clausus of traditional philosophy – 77
        • a) Rejection of the first dualism: self-other or subject-subject – 79
        • b) Rejection of the second dualism: I-world or subject-object – 81
        • c) Critique of the epistemology dualist traditional and its overcoming in an epistemology sociological – 82
      • 3.2. The sociologización of the subject of knowledge – 87
        • (a) The transition from a philosophy to a sociology of knowledge – 88
        • (b) the ambiguity of The critical eliasiana the transcendental subject-kantian: the problem of time – 90
        • c) The possible kantismo background in Norbert Elias: the problem of the biological potential of synthesis – 99
        • d) Conclusion: the meaning and limits of the critical eliasiana to Kant – 104
    • §4. Epistemology a realist critique of the commitment and distance – 105
      • 4.1. The problem of objectivity in epistemology of Elias: between realism naive and idealism subjectivist – 106
        • a) Norbert Elias: realistic critical-modest or idealist-critical – 106
        • b) Knowledge commitment and knowledge distanced – 107
        • c) The philosophical problem of the objectivity of knowledge: a greater or lesser congruence with the reality – 111
        • (d) Two experiences of the world: the external and the symbolic. The critical realism eliasiano – 115
        • (e) Depersonalization progressive of the symbols as the criteria of greater congruence with the reality – 121
      • 4.2. Plurality of scientific methods: analysis and sínopsis – 125
        • (a) The argumentation ontology against the monism methodological – 126
        • b) The argument is epistemological against monism, methodological – 128
      • 4.3. Criticism of the concept of scientific law – 131
    • §5. The debate about the relations between philosophy and sociology in Elias – 135
    • §6. The sociology of scientific as a hunter of myths (“Mythenjäger”): autonomy and heteronomy – 144
      • 6.1. Myths and fantasies in the human knowledge – 145
      • 6.2. The emergence of sociology and its scientific endeavor – 150
      • 6.3. The historical context of the birth of the sociology – 165
    • §7. The object: beyond the macro and micro, figurations and interdependencies – 168
      • 7.1. Critique of the opposition between the individual and society – 169
      • 7.2. Playing patterns and figurations in movement – 176
        • a) The figuration as the “conceptual-tool” (“begriffliches Handwerkszeug”) of the sociology eliasiana: definition and basic features – 176
        • (b) The balances and imbalances of power within the figurations: models games – 182
      • 7.3. Unintended consequences of the action – 188
      • 7.4. Social development and biological evolution: figures in motion – 190
    • §8. The method: historical Sociology and empirical research – 196
      • 8.1. Circularity between theoretical research and empirical research – 196
      • 8.2. Steps in the methodology eliasiana – 201
      • 8.3. The early birth of the “historical sociology” in the work of Elias – 204
    • §9. l process of civilization – 213
      • 9.1. The process of civilization as the key hermeneutic of sociology elisiana – 213
      • 9.2. What is the process of civilization: psicogénesis and sociogenesis – 215
        • a) the fundamentals of The process of civilization – 216
        • (b) the Characteristics and general structure of the psicogénesis of the process of civilization – 223
        • c) the Characteristics and general structure of the sociogenesis of the process of civilization – 230
      • 9.3. A complex process: descivilización, discivilización and informalization – 234
    • §10. The problem of freedom and of power – 239
      • 10.1. A sociological theory of freedom and power – 240
      • 10.2. Freedom and power as an expression of social relations concrete – 242
      • 10.3. The ability constrictive and constructive of the social determination – 252
      • 10.4. Two empirical studies: Louis XIV and the Amadeus Mozart – 255
        • a) in The case of Louis XIV and the French Court 256
        • (b) in The case of Mozart as a result of the coexistence of two social worlds 258
    • §11. The study of the social communities – 262
      • 11.1. Towards a theory of communities – 262
      • 11.2. The general problem of the established and the marginalized – 265
      • 11.3. The case of the establishments scientific – 274
      • 11.4. The case of the professions: the navy – 279
      • 12.1. Free time and leisure in contemporary societies – 283
      • 12.2. The role of leisure in front of the control of the emotions – 287
      • 12.3. The sport and its function is mimetic in the process of civilization – 291
  • Analytical index – 295
  • Index name – – 299



Review about the author

Los fundamentos de la sociología de Norbert Elias

Jesus Romero Moñivas is a Professor of Sociology at the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) and of Political Science at the National University of Distance Education (UNED). Graduated in Information Sciences (2004) and obtained his phd in Sociology (2009) at the University Complutense of Madrid. Since 2004 he teaches at two private universities, and since 2010 she is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology VI at the Faculty of Education, COMPLUTENSE university of madrid and a Professor-tutor in the Center associated with Getafe of the UNED-Madrid Sur.

Its lines of research, publication, and study ranging from the sociology of technology and science, sociological theory, social anthropology and philosophy, the ontology of social reality and natural, and the interdisciplinary dialogue between natural scientists, and social philosophers.

One of his basic concerns is to show the interdisciplinary character of all the phenomena of the reality. Although his perspective is sociological, it seems like you can’t do sociology without having to take into account other branches of knowledge, such as the physical sciences, natural philosophy, history, anthropology, but also the history of religions and your own theologies, and so on, Only in this way can be obtained a deeper knowledge of the phenomena. For this reason, Jesus Romero has spent many hours studying the fundamental theories of other disciplines, trying to integrate and complement them. The excessive specialization has produced some important achievements in cognitive, but prevents a true explanatory theory of social phenomena.

The key project of Jesus Romero to build a theoretical model-empirical sociology of the human being, trying to explain the diversity of behaviors and thoughts of people under a single theoretical model. His starting point is the realization that we need to deal with a necessary relativity of the modes of orientation, human, and moving away from dogmatism of any type, construct a theoretical model that explains this diversity.

More information on Jesus Romero on his blog:

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top