What is widely known as ‘figurational sociology’, or alternatively ‘process sociology’, is the research tradition stemming from the writings of Norbert Elias. The tradition extends beyond sociology to historians and many other branches of the social sciences. Elias’s Collected Works run to 18 volumes, but the bedrock of his oeuvre is his early study On the Process of Civilisation, in which the interrelation of long-term sociogenetic processes like state-formation and equally long-term psychogenetic processes like conscience- and habitus-formation is first clearly elaborated. Of the many directions in which the theory has been subsequently developed, the most important is Elias’s sociological theory of knowledge and the sciences, which involves a radical rejection of central assumptions of Western philosophy.
EliasNorbert‘On the creed of a nominalist: observations on Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery’Essays i: On the Sociology of Knowledge and the Sciences2009cCollected Works, vol. 14DublinUCD Press16190
GoudsblomJohanLoyalStevenQuilleyStephen‘Christian religion and the European civilising process: the views of Norbert Elias and Max Weber compared in the context of the Augustian and Lucretian traditions’The Sociology of Norbert Elias2004CambridgeCambridge University Press265280
MennellStephenGoudsblomJohanJonesEricMennellStephen‘Asia and Europe: comparing civilising processes’The Course of Human History: Economic Growth, Social Process, and Civilisation1996Armonk, NYM. E. Sharpe11734chapter 7