Spatial Occupation—Destruction—Virtualization [chapter]

Karl-Siegbert Rehberg
2021 Spatial Transformations  
It is not from space that I must seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. . . . By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world. -Blaise Pascal ([1670] 1958, Chapter VI: The Philosophers. Fragment 348) Norbert Elias as methodological stimulator for the analysis of spatial transformations Norbert Elias would have been pleased to contribute to the approach of analyzing the "refguration of spaces" (Löw and Knoblauch in this book)
more » ... ecause he was particularly proud of having "discovered" the signifcance of fgurations for sociological analysis. Elias was deeply convinced that a focus on relational fgurations was an integral yet missing key to recognizing and understanding causal relations and coherences within societies. This is why he developed a methodological approach to historical sociology that carried the spirit of the longue durée-orientated Annales School. Based upon his understanding of relationality and processuality within social relations, Elias ([1939] 1969, [1939] 1982) intended nothing less than to recalibrate and re-establish sociological research. Elias insinuated that historical and sociological sciences alike are habitually concerned with states-in the sense of static conditions, not of course in the political sense-instead of processes, without even diferentiating according to the objects of their inquiry. In contrast to his idea, today's research mainly focuses on probabilities and contours of a possible "next society" (Baecker 2007). Even those require relating past events to the present in order to predict the future.
doi:10.4324/9781003036159-4 fatcat:jiasjd2mcngs3mcrwcyqvn26ie