• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This new edition of this classic text from one of the major figures of world sociology includes an introduction published in English for the first time. In Norbert Elias's hands, a local community study of tense relations between an established group and outsiders becomes a microcosm that illuminates a wide range of sociological configurations including racial, ethnic, class and gender relations. The Established and the Outsiders examines the mechanisms of stigmatization, taboo and gossip, monopolization of power, collective fantasy and `we' and `they' images which support and reinforce divisions in society. Developing aspects of Elias's thinking that relate his work to current sociological concerns, it presents the


In studying a community, one is faced with a great variety of problems. The question is whether they are all equally central for the understanding of what gives to a grouping of people this specific character—the character of a community.

It is quite possible to divide the problems of a community into a number of classes and to go over them one by one. One might distinguish between economic, historical, political, religious, administrative and other aspects of a community, might study each by itself and in the conclusion indicate as best one can how these aspects are connected with each other.

But one can also reverse the approach and ask what is it that binds economic, historical, political and other classes of data together as aspects ...

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