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Norbert Elias's extended theory of community: from established-outsider relations to the gendered we-I balance

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberjournal ref no 110
Pages (from-to)568-584
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Review
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


Norbert Elias and John Scotson’s analysis of the interconnection between positive and negative community identities in The Established and the Outsiders is well-known. Elias’s subsequent writing about community offers a more rounded analysis, going beyond established/outsider configurations by exploring community’s gendered character and the forces involved in the ‘we-I balance’ that counteract the pervasive process of individualization. Elias’s use of personal pronouns to reveal how community identity (‘we’) relates not only to outsiders (‘they’) but also to an individual member (‘I’) of communities is central to his extended theory of community.

    Research areas

  • community, Elias, insider/outsider, gender, we-l balance

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