Norbert Elias

Norbert Elias's reputation as a penetrating sociologist of civilization and a founding figure of the critical study of both science and sport has only continued to grow. A marginal figure for much of his lifetime who only published one book during his academic career, the outpouring of work that characterised the last years of his long and fruitful life finally began to gain the recognition that it deserved in the 1970s. Gradually, his work, in particular his tour-de-force on the development of Western culture and manners, The Civilizing Process, has become accepted as foundational to the field of figurational sociology. His explorations of the relation between power, behaviour, emotion, and knowledge over time are seminal contributions to our understanding of history, psychology and culture. Polity has published several of his works, including The Germans, Mozart: Portrait of a Genius and Reflections on a Life.