Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Norbert Elias: A proposed intellectual portrait for the 20th anniversary of his passing (1990-2010)

Jordi Collet-Sabé


In the summer of 1990, one of the most eminent sociologists of the 20th century, the
German Norbert Elias, died in Amsterdam. His profoundly interwoven life and work are
a reflection of the complexity the light and shade of the past century. With this
proposed intellectual portrait on the 20th anniversary of his death, we are attempting
offer a snapshot a figure and a body of work which, because of its magnitude and
originality, undoubtedly deserves to be considered among the most important in
sociology. As the thread running through this portrait, we propose a combination of the
physical and symbolic places, spaces and people, events and connections that marked a
long life and academic career which was little known and largely unrecognised until his
later years. It is a career which unquestionably constitutes one of the most outstanding
and attractive legacies that the sociology of the past century has passed on to new
generations of social science researchers.

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