Credits, references, and bibliography
The Civilizing Process: behaviors once allowed become, over time, unacceptable.
Explaining the Changes: Lengthening Dependency Chains
See: Christopher Lasch. Review: Historical Sociology and the Myth of Maturity: Norbert Elias's "Very Simple Formula". Theory and Society, Vol. 14, No. 5 (Sep., 1985), pp. 705-720.
Norbert Elias (1897-1990) "studied the long-term historical development of the civilizing process. In the civilizing process, a number of behaviors that were formerly allowed became prohibited in European society from the 13th to the 19th centuries. People became much more self-conscious about appropriate behavior over this period. Elias argued that people became more and more connected to and dependent upon one another as modern social structure developed. He referred to this as the lengthening of dependency chains. As a result, people became more sensitive to others. Elias tried to map the social relationships that created sensitivity into figurations or interweaving networks of people. The concept of figuration can be seen as an effort to overcome the macro-micro distinction in sociology in which cultural phenomena are reified into norms. Elias argued that sociologists needed to deal with human relationships rather than abstractions." (1)
Norbert Elias observed a long-term trend of increasingly civilized everyday behaviors. His research method was to look at writing on manners, which he found in etiquette books, to find out what common behaviors were and when they began to be considered offensive. Today, the Internet is a new social realm where manners are still developing.
Go to the Netiquette website: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/
First, take the netiquette quiz to gauge your own understanding of netiquette. Then, look at the core rules of netiquette and answer the following questions.
a. What are some common everyday behavioral problems for Internet users?
b. Are some of these behavioral problems peculiar to the Internet? Why?
c. To what does the guide to etiquette appeal when recommending changes in behavior?
d. Based on what you know about the role of self-constraint in the civilizing process, do you think that netiquette will improve over time?
Norbert Elias and Process Sociology: http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/social/elias/eliasframe.html The Norbert Elias and Process Sociology website is the online home of Figurations: The Newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation.
Much of this page comes from the "Instructor's Manual" to accompany Contemporary
Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics, Second Edition,
George Ritzer, Mcgraw-Hill, 2007. The Instructor's Manual was prepared by James
Murphy, University of Maryland, College Park and Todd Stillman, Fayetteville
State University. These excerpts are from chapter 5.
2. Ritzer, George. 2007/2010/2013. Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. 2nd/3rd/4th editions. St. Louis: McGraw-Hill
Unless otherwise noted,
all pages within the web site http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/ © 2013 by
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