Relational Thinking by Norman Gabriel
Follow the link below to access the presentation.
Norbert Elias – Figurational sociology
The key to using a figurational approach to over-come an egocentric one, is to draw
“attention to people’s interdependencies. What actually binds people together into figurations”
Elias, using a figurational perspective argues that,
“power is not an amulet possessed by one person and not by another it is a structural characteristic of human relationships – of all human relationships”
This further illustrates the ability of the figurational approach’s ability to clarify concepts, such as power, by transforming “a concept of substance to a concept of relationship”. That is the fundamental difference between traditional sociology (egocentric) and a relational sociology (figurational): traditional sociology most often treats concepts as objects and substance , while relational sociology treats concepts as processes and relationships.
To learn more about how Elias envisions a relational sociology consider checking out the following books:
Elias, N. (1978). What is Sociology? New York: Columbia University Press
Elias, N. (2000). The Civilizing Process (Rev. Ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publications
Gabriel NR & Mennell S (2011) Norbert Elias and Figurational Research: Processual Thinking in Sociology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
Source: The Critical Futurist