Daily Archives: April 19, 2014

History of one delusion

Vadimage Blog

Sometimes, it is difficult to find a source of a particular delusion. For example, when did nakedness become a source of embarrassment? It was not always that way.

In 1939 Norbert Elias [1], a German sociologist, has published ‘The Civilizing Process’ [2]. The book “remained largely unknown and unread among both the German and English speaking public for thirty years”. The goal of the author was to explore “the civilizing of manners and personality in Western Europe since the late Middle Ages”, and to show “how that was related to the formation of states and monopolization of power within them” [3]. “Elias traced how post-medieval European standards regarding violence, sexual behaviour, bodily functions, table manners and forms of speech were gradually transformed by increasing thresholds of shame and repugnance, working outward from a nucleus in court etiquette” [4].

“Elias has argued that the development of civil society in Europe was…

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