1st Edition

Norbert Elias's Lost Research
Revisiting the Young Worker Project

ISBN 9780367598365
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
198 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Based on the re-discovery of a lost sociological project led by Norbert Elias at the University of Leicester, this book re-visits the project: The Adjustment of Young Workers to Work Situations and Adult Roles. Norbert Elias's Lost Research makes use of the interview booklets documenting the lives of nearly 900 Leicester school leavers at the time, to give a unique account of Elias's only foray into large-scale, publicly funded research. Covering all aspects of the research from the development of the research proposal, the selection and management of the research team, the fieldwork, Elias's theoretical work to the ultimate demise of the research project, this book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of existing Eliasian texts by introducing this project to a wider audience and investigating and applying Elias's theoretical work to the areas of youth and school to work transitions. Shedding new light on Elias's thought, whilst exploring questions of methodology and the relevance of older research to modern questions, this book will be of interest to social theorists, as well as sociologists with interests in research methodology and the history of sociology.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; The ’Young Worker Project’: context and controversies; Researching the Adjustment of Young Workers to Work Situations and Adult Roles: conceptual framework and 1960s fieldwork; Researcher representations of the young workers; Complex transitions in 1960s labour markets; Gendered transitions; Youth culture and leisure in the 1960s; Whatever happened to the young workers?; The case of 10 women from Leicester: subsequent careers; Afterword: thoughts, reflections and future possibilities; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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John Goodwin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leicester. He was previously the Head of the Centre for Labour Market Studies (2006-2010), Sub-Dean (2003-2006), and the first Academic Director of the College of Social Science (2009-2010) at the University of Leicester. Henrietta O’Connor is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leicester. She has held a number of roles including Head of Department of the Centre for Labour Market Studies and Deputy Head of the School of Management. Previously she held posts as Sub-Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of Postgraduate Research in the College of Social Science.


’This is a wonderfully rich and impressive book about the sociology of economic life. At times reading like a detective story it tells us so much about how work has changed over four important decades. It should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the history of British sociology.’ Tim Strangleman, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK