Norbert Elias and the Habits of Good Sociology (Resubmission).pdf (211.08 kB)
Download file

Norbert Elias and the Habits of Good Sociology

Download (211.08 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2013, 12:05 by Jason Robert Allan Hughes
This paper explores the somewhat mixed reception of Elias’s work as, in part, understandable in terms of Elias’s transgression of a dominant code of ‘sociological etiquette’ that I have here called the ‘habits of good sociology’. I explore a number of key ‘habits’, which include: empirical legitimacy, political alignment, and relativistic egalitarianism which have arguably come to dominate the discipline in recent years. I argue that Elias’s ambition to develop a central theory falls foul of a prevailing sentiment in which no single perspective should be elevated over and above any other, and where epistemic relativism has become something of a creed in the teaching of sociology. In relation to this, I will explore the model of sociological practice developed in Elias’s work and suggest that it is this model of the sociological endeavour – one in which considerable sociological ambition is combined with empirical humility (i.e. that handkerchiefs might be as important as, say, economic relationships) – that remains an important component of his intellectual legacy. Ultimately, my contention is that while it is probably unrealistic in the current intellectual climate to expect Elias’s work to comprise a ‘central theory’, his approach nonetheless offers a model of sociological practice that might permit ‘advances’ in sociological knowledge to take place.

History

Citation

Human Figurations: Long-term Perspectives on the Human Condition, 2013, 2 (1)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Sociology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Human Figurations: Long-term Perspectives on the Human Condition

Publisher

Mpublishing - a division of the University of Michigan Library

eissn

2166-6644

Copyright date

2013

Available date

01/07/2013

Publisher version

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.11217607.0002.107

Language

en

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Exports