Norbert Elias

Most Influential Person Across History

German sociologist

Norbert Elias's Academic­ Rankings

Norbert Elias
Historical Rank
sociology Degrees
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  • Sociology

Why Is Norbert Elias Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Norbert Elias was a German sociologist who later became a British citizen. He is especially famous for his theory of civilizing/decivilizing processes. Biography Elias was born on 22 June 1897 in Breslau in Prussia's Silesia Province to Hermann Elias and Sophie Elias, née Gallewski . His father was a native of Kempen and a businessman in the textile industry. His mother was a native of the Jewish community of Breslau itself. After passing the abitur in 1915, Norbert Elias volunteered for the German army in World War I and was employed as a telegrapher, first at the Eastern front, then at the Western front. After suffering a nervous breakdown in 1917, he was declared unfit for service and was posted to Breslau as a medical orderly. The same year, Elias began studying philosophy, psychology and medicine at the University of Breslau, in addition spending a term each at the universities of Heidelberg and Freiburg in 1919 and 1920. He quit medicine in 1919 after passing the preliminary examination . To finance his studies after his father's fortune had been reduced by hyperinflation, he took up a job as the head of the export department in a local hardware factory 1922. In 1924, he graduated with a doctoral dissertation in philosophy entitled Idee und Individuum supervised by Richard Hönigswald, a representative of neo-Kantianism. Disappointed about the absence of the social aspect from neo-Kantianism, which had led to a serious dispute with his supervisor about his dissertation, Elias decided to turn to sociology for his further studies.

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What Are Norbert Elias's Academic Contributions?

Norbert Elias has made the following academic contributions: