From figuration to coordination
an analysis of social interdependence mechanisms
If there is a central concept in Norbert Elias's thinking, a concept present in most if not all of his writings, it is figuration. In that one notion we are given both the orientation of his epistemological understanding and his firm intention to escape the dichotomies of classic sociology, first among them an opposition between individual and society in which the two seem posited as independent substances. Less familiar, perhaps, is Elias's relational sociology. Here his reasoning in terms of related levels for which no ultimate positioning relative to each other can be determined was also, as he saw it, an invitation to construct a unified science of social beings situated at the intersection of the various human and social sciences.
Déchaux, J. (2013)., From figuration to coordination: an analysis of social interdependence mechanisms, in F. Dépelteau & T. Savoia Landini (eds.), Norbert Elias and social theory, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 297-314.
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