The University of Leicester & The Norbert Elias Foundation


UoL Logo

Based in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom and around an hour’s train ride from Birmingham and London, the University of Leicester was the first University to bring Sociology to the UK and has been home to Sociologists such as Norbert Elias and Anthony Giddens.

In 1984, Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys created DNA Fingerprinting which changed the Criminal Justice System.  Sir Alec’s work highlights a philosophy at Leicester which aims to do things differently and we are looking forward to see how we can do this particularly within Sociology.

The following is taken from the University of Leicester’s website:

‘At the heart of the UK, Leicester is a leading university committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Celebrating diversity among our staff and students; widening participation in higher education; engaging with local, national and international communities – all of these are part of what we do and who we are. 

Founded in 1921 as a memorial to the Great War, the University of Leicester has a proud history of ambitious projects that lead to amazing discoveries. This is where genetic fingerprinting was invented in 1984 and home of the team who found King Richard III. In our second century, we will continue to aspire to be the very best in everything that we do.’

If you wish to know more about the University of Leicester, please click here.


Elias Foundation Logo

The Norbert Elias Foundation is the place to go to find out more about Norbert Elias and his work.

‘Elias is now regarded as one of the most important sociologists of the 20th century. He is especially known for his theory of the civilising process, but his research went far beyond that. He developed a theory of human society from its very beginnings to the emergence of the modern knowledge society.’

Professor Stephen Mennell has written extensively about Norbert Elias.  Here are some extracts:

‘Only late in his long life did Norbert Elias (1897–1990) achieve intellectual celebrity, but since his death he has been recognised as one of the greatest sociologists of the twentieth century. He is most famous for his theory of civilising processes, but his ambitious vision for the scope of the social sciences extended to the whole development of human society from its earliest origins, including the long-term growth of knowledge and the sciences.

His writings extend to such diverse topics as violence, sport, ageing and dying, time, work, art, poetry, utopias and the relations between the sexes. He likened networks of interdependent human beings – ‘figurations’ as he called them – to a dance: in constant flux yet structured. His approach has come to be known as ‘figurational sociology’, or more generally – because its appeal is far wider than professional sociologists alone – figurational studies.’

If you wish to know more about Norbert Elias and his work, please click here.