Essay The Link Between Freud, Elias, And Goffman
2174 Words Apr 3rd, 2016 9 Pages
The link between Freud, Elias, and Goffman
Freud, Elias, and Goffman all wrote books concerning the evolution of reflexive human behavior in modern society (1). Freud was intensely focused on proving his (at times erroneous or unprovable) assumptions about something as nebulous as human nature. Elias set out to provide historical context to the rise of civil discourse. Civil discourse, to Elias, would ultimately lead to the rise of the modern nation-state through providing an incremental paradigm by which western cultures have been molded to conduct their many forms of self-aware interaction. Goffman’s Behavior in Public Space is interested in describing and codifying the ways that we interact in different social contexts—creating a language to uncover the underlying logic behind the way that physical and social space shape the way that we interact with each other. These projects are all different in scope and in praxis, but united by their effort to uncover the underlying assumptions and mechanisms behind what makes contemporary society operate under what have become to be known as “civil” interactions.
Elias, in some ways, builds upon the analytical framework that Freud built, but he did not focus so much on the idea of human nature that Freud evoked so often. Elias’s work was focused on asserting the historical basis that modern society uses to construct civil social boundaries through the use of historical documents and sensibilities. Freud, instead, attempts…