"The enterprise of publishing the collected works of Norbert Elias under the editorship of Richard Kilminster and Stephen Mennell by University College Dublin Press is an extremely important contribution to the contemporary intellectual and academic scene. Norbert Elias was one of the most original minds in the human and social sciences in the 20th century - his work covers not only a very broad range of sociological topics starting with his classical The Civilising Process and later The Court Society, but also many topics ranging from sociology of knowledge to sociology of sport and analysis of historical processes; the broad philosophical problems, such as the idea of the place of the progress of symbolic dimensions in social life. This is really a monumental enterprise, very worthwhile and very constructive, presenting a great challenge to the contemporary intellectual and academic scene - and UCD Press should be congratulated in undertaking this enterprise." S. N. Eisenstadt Jerusalem, 24 July 2008 "Too easily the editors and readers of Books Ireland take it as given that Irish publishers' books are mostly about Ireland or by Irish writers. We wish it were not so because we think our publishers are of world class, and a shining exception and exemplar is this series of eighteen volumes of the life's work in English - some of his work was written in German - of Elias (1897-1990) whose major theme was the theory of civilising processes - It is particularly happy that the first of these titles should find an Irish publisher since we are perforce specialists in the matter of social establishments or ascendancy - the existence of an 'Irishtown' outside many of our towns speaks of literal outsidership. The frequent use of the word 'exciting' in advertising and criticism seems to go unnoticed and Norbert is very interesting on the subject as well as on the dynamics of sports, social (and especially male) bonding, violence and football hooliganism. These books are in the very best tradition of design, with acid-free paper, sewn bindings, cloth boards, coloured endpapers, spine labels and acetate jackets." Books Ireland Nov 08
In "The Established and the Outsiders", Elias and Scotson explain differences in power and rank between two very similar groups - both working class - in a local community studied in the early 1960s. They show how one group monopolised sources of power and used them to exclude and stigmatise members of the other, pinpointing the role of gossip in the process. In a later theoretical introduction, Elias advanced a general theory of power relations, applying the established-outsiders model to changing power balances between classes, ethnic groups, colonised and colonisers, men and women, parents and children, gays and straights. A further theoretical development in the last year of his life is an essay inspired by Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mocking Bird", published here in English for the first time.
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