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More ‘classic essays’ on the NEF website

Posted on by Stephen Mennell

Five more essays by Joop Goudsblom have been posted on the Norbert Elias Foundation website, on the page entitled “Some classic essays”.


The aim of providing this page is to make available the texts of some essays which, although perhaps well known in a subterranean way among members of the figurational research network, have either not previously been published in English or are difficult to obtain. We are paying particular attention to articles published in the now-defunct Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift. We should welcome suggestions for further essays, from that journal or elsewhere and by other authors, which could usefully be posted on this page.

The five new essays are:

Johan Goudsblom, ‘Public Health and the Civilising Process’, Millbank Quarterly 64: 2 (1986), pp. 161–82.

Johan Goudsblom, ‘On High and Low in Society and in Sociology: A Semantic Approach to Social Stratification’, Sociologisch Tijdschrift 13: 1 (1986), pp. 3–17. [Note that for a few years in the mid-1980s, the Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift dropped ‘Amsterdam’ from its title.]

Johan Goudsblom, ‘The humanities and the social sciences’, in E. Zürcher and T. Langendorff (eds), The Humanities in the Nineties: A View from the Netherlands (Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1990), pp. 24–41. [Traces the relationships between the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences at the present day are traced back to the structure of early European universities.]

Johan Goudsblom, ‘The Theory of the Civilising Process and Its Discontents’ – a review of the reception of and debates about Elias’s theory, prepared for a conference in 1994 and hitherto published only as a working paper of the Amsterdam School for Social Research.

Johan Goudsblom, ‘Christian religion and the European civilising process: the views of Norbert Elias and Max Weber compared in the context of the Augustinian and Lucretian traditions’, Irish Journal of Sociology 12: 1 (2003), pp. 24–38.

Johan Goudsblom, ‘Norbert Elias and American Sociology’, Sociologia Internationalis 38: 2 (2000), pp. 173–80.

These essays join four others that were posted previously:

Godfried van Benthem van den Bergh, ‘Attribution of blame as the past and present means of orientation: the social sciences as a potential improvement’ – original long version, previously unpublished.

Eric Dunning, ‘In defence of developmental sociology: a critique of Popper’s Poverty of Historicism with special reference to the theory of Auguste Comte’, Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift 4: 3 (1977), pp. 327-49.

Johan Goudsblom, ‘The Paradox of Pacification’, not previously published in this form. In Dutch, the substance of the argument appeared in the chapter ‘De monopolisering van georganiseerd geweld’, in Goudsblom’s book Stof waar honger uit ontstond: Over evolutie en sociale processen (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2001), pp. 94-111.

Robert van Krieken, ‘Occidental self-understanding and the Elias–Duerr dispute: “thick” versus “thin” conceptions of human subjectivity and civilisation’, Modern Greek Studies 13 (2005), pp. 273–81.