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Norbert Elias and the History of Manners - Assignment Example

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This paper begins with the statement that Norbert Elias has been largely accredited with the emergence of the political civility, through critical evaluation of the historical social manners that have shaped the society over decades to become the accepted code of behavior in a civilized society…
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Norbert Elias and the History of Manners
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Download file to see previous pages Elias critically examinees the historical norms that have been put in place over time and how these have been received and implemented in several societies. An example is an issue of spitting in public places. Elias (156) argues that the series quotations or norms that involve the issue of spitting has drastically changed since the middle ages in a particular direction, and in among Europeans considered as being the most unpleasant behavior, and has even been viewed as being unhealthy. The process through which these types of manners have been evolving to be accepted by society as Elias elaborates would constitute a process through which civilization has taken place. As described above, civility according to Calhoun is communicating an attitude of mannerism towards others. Elias critical examines how social issues such as cleanliness, spitting, and others that would constitute mannerism, have evolved to amount to a process through which civilization has evolved in society. Largely, Elias utilizes rhetoric to evaluate how mannerism, has evolved over time to form widely embraced social manners. Elias (159 explains that the inclination to spit or even look at the sputum in children or even in a dream and its corresponding suppression can be viewed in the specific comic that overcomes us when such similar things are spoken in the general public. Elias in this presents the idea of the malleability of psychic life. The use of children is significant of how the society is eager to learn on its way to civilization in a process that would amount to psychological development in the formation of attitudes that would later be embraced as the standards of public order. It is in such a process that civilization would be said to amount to psychological maturity, where the society develops codes of behaviors that come to be understood and embraced as signs of respect towards others, which has been explained as the essence of maturity. The formed trends that involve codes and norms concerning public behavior or how one should have respect to others as a process to civility then led to the psychology regarding the art of observing people. Elias (104) argues that this psychology cannot be taken in the scientific view, but as the ability that stems out of the importance of life at a court that clearly defines the capacities, motives and the limits that other people have. It is through a court process that the gestures, expressions, intentions and other behaviors of people are weighed to critically examine their meanings and to the extent that they contradict with respect to others, public decency. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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