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Philosophers and social scientists have for decades - centuries even - tied themselves in knots over the supposed problem of 'individual' versus 'society', and its offshoots such as 'agency' and 'structure'. Elias shows the falsity of problem, which ought to be easily resolved by thinking in terms of processes extending over the generations - though in practice the baleful influence of philosophy leads to its constant resurrection. "The Society of Individuals" consists of three essays, the first written in 1939, the second ...

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