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Norbert Elias: The Civilizing Process

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Anette Hansen

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of Norbert Elias: The Civilizing Process

Finally ...An experiment! Human Society
- Common Values Taken for Granted The Civilizing Process The Earth as Flat?
The Fork: A Tool of Evil?

VIII: On Behavior in the Bedroom ...From shared beds..
..To shared sensitivities X On Changes in Aggressiveness Aggression is not a separable species of instinct, but a part of a circuit system in the human being
Confined and tamed in the "civilized" world IX Changes in Attitude Toward
Relations Between the Sexes Shame surrounding sexual relations XI Scenes from the Life of a King -The Medieval House-Book (1475-1480) The Civilizing Process Professor: G. B. Kwon
Presenter: Anette Hansen Norbert Elias Outline:
VIII On Behavior in the Bedroom
IX Changes in Attitude Toward Relations Between the Sexes
X On Changes in Aggressiveness
XI Scenes from the Life of a King In Medieval Society: also utilized for guests, slaves and maids
Nudity common practice
Nightgowns indicated bodily defect
From the sixteenth century: Increased strictness and sensitivity The Bedroom - A Historical Perspective "and they saw that they were naked and were ashamed" Medieval Society: Consideration of others
1530s: For its own sake
(However, still common to share bed)
18th Century: No longer common to share beds
1774: Strict moral taken for granted Habitual Development "only if we see how natural it seemed in the Middle Ages for strangers and for children and adults to share a bed we can appreciate what a fundamental change in interpersonal relationships and behavior is expressed in our manner of living" Elias Focus: Social structure and its effect on individual personality
The disappearance of "animalistic" behavior through civilization
Increased emphasis on self-control
The civilizing process as an nonlinear trend
Being conscious of these matters can help us filter irrelevant beliefs Max Weber: The Transformation of the Western World through Rationalization Erasmus: "Colloquies" A formal written dialogue
Schoolbook: 1526-1700s
In our phase of civilization: immoral "As Socrates brought philosophy from heaven to earth, so I have led philosophy to games and banquettes." Relations Between Sexes:
A Historical Perspective 1434: Free access to brothels as a gift to visitors
1500: The prostitute as a university major
1600s: A slight shift towards concealment
1857 (Von Raumer): ..should not be touched upon in the presence of children Sexuality in the Civilizing Process Sexuality increasingly removed behind the scene
A topic which has become natural not to talk about
Shame becomes compulsive
Pressure to privatize impulses Consequences: Increased pressure on parents for "enlightenment" Problems of puberty have to be understood in relation to the society: the historical phase and societal structure Marriage Traditions ->1500s: Extramarital relationships as the norm
17th & 18th century: The dominance of men broken
Use of moral instead of force -With great power comes great responsibility Trade & Money
-> Social Power & Self Liberation
-> Stronger Social Constraints
-> Stronger Self Constraint 19th Century Bourgeois Society "Once in bed you are rightly wed!" The Civilization Process: A Pendulum? No straight line
However, a tendency towards increased control
Relaxation of morals happens, but within the framework of "civilized" standards of behavior
A number of societies are aiming for stricter social regulation Thanks for your time! Self restraint becomes internalized through pressure from social institutions in general, and by certain executive organs of the society (above all the family) in particular ...The unconscious Superego Changes in Aggressiveness: Medieval Times Medieval Society: Rapine, battle, hunting of men & animals
The only threat was a stronger enemy
To kill & torture: a socially permitted pleasure
A society of fear
The lifestyle of a warrior "Religion is always exactly as 'civilized' as the society or class which upholds it" War between nations: More impersonal
Propaganda to reawaken aggression and legitimize socially outlawed instincts
Aggression expressed through sports
Yet, much of what earlier aroused pleasure arouse displeasure today "Civilization" of behavior The Medieval House Book represent a society free from shame in relations to own drives and feelings.
Love, tournaments, hunts, campaigns and plundering are all natural parts of life Norbert Elias
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