New Issues in Process Sociology: One-day conference, Berlin 5 December 2011

The conference will be held at Wissenschaft Zentrum Berlin [WZB], on 5 December 2011

The aim of this  conference is to examine and discuss both interpretations of Elias’s thought and new empirical applications of his ideas – including their application to the financial crisis that started in 2008. Some of the diverse themes that will be discussed by a number of eminent scholars include: Elias and market processes; Elias’s poetry; Studies on the Germans and long-term processes of violence.

Attendance at the conference is free of charge, but places are limited. If you would like to attend please email either Reinhard Blomert at or Steven Loyal at

Draft programme Continue reading

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Call for Papers: Emotions and Power

Call for Papers: Emotions and Power:  Special Issue of the Journal of Political Power

Editors: Jonathan G. Heaney and Helena Flam

Power permeates all human relationships. It is constitutive of society, economy and politics. Its study has enriched scholarship and research within a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, political science, philosophy, and anthropology. It has been at the centre of social and political theory.  By contrast, emotion, has traditionally had a more difficult time within these same disciplines.  However, since the 1990’s there has been a widespread recognition of the fundamental role it plays in social life.  Today, research that focuses on emotion is at the forefront of contemporary social science.  Although both power and emotion are essential features of the conduct and constitution of social life, research on these two phenomena – whatever their conceptual guises – has tended to run in parallel, without explicitly engaging the other.  It seems to us that the time is ripe for exploring the connections between these two fundaments of society.  To this end we would like to invite submissions that address both, either empirically or theoretically.  We are particularly interested in papers that seek to investigate the interrelated role that both power and emotions play in specific arenas or around specific topics.  For example, papers that address emotions and power in organisations, in social movements, in politics, in media, in welfare and warfare, in families, in education and so on, are especially sought, though submissions are not limited to these fields of inquiry.  Papers addressing emotions, power and gender are also particularly welcome.  Initially, we are seeking long abstracts of two or so pages, outlining the overall approach and argument of the paper prior to full submission.  A shortlist will be selected from these and individuals will be invited to then submit full papers for review.

Expressions of interest should be sent by 16 December 2011 to

The final collection will be submitted to the Journal of Political Power (Routledge), either as a standalone special issue or as a theme within an issue, depending upon the number of high standard submissions we receive. Once submitted to the Journal, the papers will be subject to a full anonymous peer review process. They should be about 8000 words in length of text and must address both concepts to be considered for inclusion.  They should also follow the Journal of Political Power style and referencing guidelines, available here.  Details of the author’s institutional affiliation, full address and other contact information should be included on a separate cover sheet along with a note on the exact length of the article.  Two copies of each manuscript should be submitted electronically. One with the authors details attached and one anonymous for peer review. All editorial communications should be addressed to:

E-Mail: and

Alternatively if the author cannot submit electronically in the last instance please mail to: Jonathan Heaney, Department of Political Science and Sociology, Aras Moyola, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

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Elias mailing list restored

Although the new blog (which you can find at, top right-hand corner) is now working perfectly, we discovered that a large proportion of subscribers’ email addresses had somehow been deleted. Continue reading

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Social Sciences PhD Scholarships – repost

The School of Social Sciences is providing opportunities for promising academic talent to undertake doctoral study. This is a significant opportunity for those who show academic excellence in our areas of expertise. Successful applicants will be awarded £12,372 per annum over three years, which includes a fee-waiver of £3,732 and a stipend of £9,000. In exceptional cases an additional fee contribution for international students may be available. In return, students will be required to undertake up to 150 hours of teaching/academic work per year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain valuable experience for their future academic career.

We are interested in receiving applications across the following disciplines and welcome applications that are inter-disciplinary in nature: Anthropology Economics and Finance Politics, International Relations and History Psychology Sociology and Communications.

Selection criteria
In addition to applicants having to meet the subject’s normal entry criteria, the School’s Studentship Selection Panel will be reviewing applications to ensure that the research topic proposed is of excellent quality, well developed, coherent and achievable within the three years. The Panel is seeking candidates who have demonstrated significant progress in their academic career so far.

How to apply
Applicants must: apply for a PhD online meet the entry criteria for the PhD programme in their chosen subject area be a new applicant for a PhD (all applications must be received by the deadline) or hold an existing offer of a PhD from Social Sciences at Brunel University. New applicants must attach a letter to the application stating that they wish to apply for the scholarship. Existing offer holders must submit a letter of application to by the deadline.

Closing date: Wednesday 23 November 2011
For further

*The PhD scholarships only apply to our current full-time PhD courses and are not applicable to the part-time PhD courses or the New Route PhD.

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Social Sciences PhD Scholarships

We are delighted to announce nine funded PhD studentships* in social sciences at Brunel University for UK, EU and international students for a January 2012 start, (or as soon as possible thereafter). Continue reading

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CfP: Figurational Studies and Contemporary Social Processes (Copenhagen)

Papers are invited for a session on “Figurational Studies and Contemporary Social Processes” at the Copenhagen conference, 2-4 April 2012.

The session organisers are Matt Clement (UWE, Bristol), John Lever (Jblresearch) and Ryan Powell (Sheffield Hallam University).

The session will engage with figurational work that sets out to understand contemporary social processes, their direction(s) and their outcomes for different groups. Researchers in many fields of inquiry are increasingly drawn to Elias’s conceptual apparatus, using it to examine a range of contemporary issues related to policy, space and governance. Particular areas of inquiry have included:

* Anti-social behaviour and the governance of conduct
* The decivilizing of welfare
* Urban regeneration and partnership working
* Group relations and conflict in the city
* The stigmatisation of ‘outsider’ groups
* Spaces of informalization
* Civilizing offensives and civilizing spurts
* Climate change and global warming
* Moral panics and austerity

Many studies use a variety of methods to develop insightful theoretical accounts of contemporaneous social processes. This inter-disciplinary session attempts to build on these accounts. We envisage contributions from those working across sociology, human geography, criminology, history and political science, but welcome contributions from other disciplines. Papers from early career researchers and postgraduate students are also particularly welcome. The session is looking for papers that foster new sociological insight and theoretical development.

Please send abstracts, of no more than 150 words, to Ryan Powell at, by 15th December 2011.

Please register for the conference by sending an email to Mette Cruse Skou ( with your name, affiliation, address, phone number and email address.

The Conference fee is €50, which covers lunches, coffee/tea and fruit. Students: €15. The conference fee needs to be paid at the conference venue/registration desk when the conference starts.

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Radically revised edition of The Symbol Theory

Norbert Elias, The Symbol Theory, edited by Richard Kilminster (Dublin: UCD Press, 2011 [Collected Works, vol. 13]). xxvi + 193 pp. ISBN: 978-1-906359-10-2. €60.00 [for 20 per cent discount, order online direct from the publisher:]

This – the last book Elias completed before his death – is the thirteenth volume of the Collected Works to be published, and also volume 13 of the series. It contains much that is new. Elias wrote it when he was already effectively blind, and the dictated text was not easy to follow. Now Richard Kilminster has made the numbered sections into separate chapters and given each of them a thematic title – which, at a stroke, makes apparent the overall architecture of a remarkable book. Continue reading

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IIS World Congress, Delhi 16-19 February 2012

The 40th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology (IIS) will take place at India Habitat Centre in Delhi on 16–19 February, 2012.The theme of the congress is After Western Hegemony: Social Science and Its Publics.

During the afternoons of the congress (on Friday, 17 February, Saturday, 18 February, and Sunday, 19 February), there will be room for a large number of parallel regular sessions. Each session is 90 minutes long and consists of an oral presentation of 3 to 4 papers. All regular sessions (including abstracts and contact details) are listed on the congress website:

If you are interested in presenting a paper in one of these sessions, please contact the session convener directly with an abstract. Please note that the deadline for submitting a paper proposal for the regular sessions is on 25 August, 2011. In the case of the Figurational Sociology session(s), please contact Professor Stephen Vertigans, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (

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PS on Spam

I am sorry to say that my electronic sledgehammer seems not to have worked. I, at least, have continued to receive spam messages from Elias-I even since I deleted all subscribers’ email addresses from it. This is bad news: it looks as though some spammer has captured the mailing list and that it is operating independently of the Elias-I blog itself. Continue reading

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End of the Spam Problem

It took us too long to notice that the recent flood of spam emails was being generated by the old Elias-I blog, NOT by the new blog on the Norbert Elias Foundation website.

All the contents, and mailing lists, from the old blog had already been imported into the new one, and it was always our intention to take Elias-I offline after an overlap period. Now it appears that security on the old blog has completely broken down. Because its owner, Robert van Krieken is not available at the moment, I have logged into it as co-administrator and used the electronic equivalent of a sledge hammer: I simply deleted the email addresses of all subscribers. Robert will shut it down completely as soon as he is able to. Continue reading

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