Social Encounters and Self-Image in the Age of Enlightenment: Norbert Elias in Eighteenth-Century French Cultural Historiography1

in Journal of Early Modern History
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Abstract

This paper advances the recent debate among early modern French historians on the application of Norbert Elias by discussing how his approach to the problem of social encounters among individual members of a community can be applied to seventeenth-and eighteenth-century France. Drawing on various examples from history and literature, the article argues that Elias's approach holds much potential for this field, because it conceives social encounters and individual identities as forms of symbolic interaction through which patterns of inequality are reproduced among small groups and then replicated across the entire society.

Social Encounters and Self-Image in the Age of Enlightenment: Norbert Elias in Eighteenth-Century French Cultural Historiography1

in Journal of Early Modern History

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