The Civilizing Process


The Civilizing Process is a book by German sociologist Norbert Elias. It is an influential work in sociology and Elias' most important work. It was first published in Basel, Switzerland in two volumes in 1939 in German as Über den Prozeß der Zivilisation. Because of World War II, it was virtually ignored, but gained popularity when it was republished in 1969 and translated into English. Covering European history from roughly 800 AD to 1900 AD, it is the first formal analysis and theory of civilization. Elias proposes a double sociogenesis of the state: the social development of the state has two sides, a mental and political. The civilisation process that Elias describes results in a profound change in human behaviour. It leads to the construction of the modern state and transition of man from the warrior of the Middle Ages to the civil man of the end of the 19th c. The Civilizing Process is today regarded as the founding work of Figurational Sociology. In 1998 the International Sociological Association listed the work as the seventh most important sociological book of the 20th century.
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original title: Über den Prozeß der Zivilisation
language: German
date of publication: 1939
genre: non-fiction
main subject: sociology

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