Norbert Elias (born June 22, 1897 in Wroclaw, Poland; died August 1, 1990 in Amsterdam) was a European sociologist whose work focused on the relationship between power, behavior, emotion, and knowledge over time. He influenced the Figurational Sociology or Process Sociology research traditions within sociology.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Published works
3 Sources


Elias was born on June 22, 1897 in Wroclaw, Poland (then called Breslau) to Hermann and Sophie Elias. His father was a businessman in the textile industry and his mother a homemaker. He fought in the Prussian army during World War I and then completed his Ph.D. under Richard Hönigswald at the Johannesgymnasium in Breslau in 1924. A jew, Elias' career was delayed when he fled Nazi Germany in 1933. After two years in Paris, he fled to England where he remained as a refugee for most of his life. Not until 1954 did he again attain a university position at Leicester. He began an active retirement in 1962.

Published works

  • Über den Prozess der Zivilisation (1939)
  • The Established and the Outsiders (1965)
  • The Court Society (19??)
  • What is Sociology? (19??)
  • The Loneliness of the Dying (19??)
  • Involvement and Detachment (19??)
  • An Essay on Time (19??)
  • The Civilising Process (19??)
  • Quest for Excitement (19??)
  • Humana Conditio (19??; subtitled "Observations on the Development of Mankind in the
  • Forty Years since the Second World War"; not available in English)
  • The Society of Individuals (19??)
  • Los der Menschen (1987; poetry),
  • Studien über den Deutschen (19??)
  • The Symbol Theory (199?)
  • Reflections on a Life (199?)
  • Mozart: Portrait of a Genius (199?)


The Norbert Elias Foundation website