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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

What is Sociology?

Translated by Grace Morrissey, Stephen Mennell and Edmund Jephcott, volume 5 of the "Collected Works of Norbert Elias" contains Elias’ broadest statement of the fundamentals of sociology, in important respects very different from the discipline as it is institutionalised today. In his vision, sociology is concerned with the whole course of the development of human society. Especially important are the ’game models’, which demonstrate the connections between power ratios, unintended consequences, unplanned long-term processes and the way people perceive and conceptualise the social processes in which they are caught up in interdependence with each other. This edition contains two extra chapters previously unpublished in English, one of them a substantial discussion of the legacy of Marx.

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Table of Contents

Norbert Elias, 1897-1990 Note on the text Foreword by Reinhard Bendix Introduction Sociology - the questions framed by Comte The sociologist as a hunter of myths Game models Universal features of human society Human interdependences - problems of social bonds The problem of the ’inevitability’ of social development PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED CHAPTERS - Karl Marx as sociologist and political sociologist The sociogenesis of the concept of ’society’ as the subject matter of sociology. APPENDICES - Human ’instincts’ - the views of Konrad Lorenz and Arnold Gehlen On Benjamin Lee Whorf’s linguistic theory and Claude Levi-Strauss’s structuralism Fiscal inequality under the ancien regime Bibliography Index.

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