Johan Goudsblom

Johan Goudsblom (1932-2020) was Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam from 1968 to 1997. He collaborated with the man who did so much to inspire him, Norbert Elias, whose ideas were the basis of the new science of figurational sociology. Goudsblom further developed this form of sociology into the study of long-term developments. He described how humans dealt with fire and time from the dawn of humanity to the present day, drawing on insights from a wide range of other scientific disciplines.

Fire and Civilization

Fire and Civilization

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 1992, 296 pages)

With Fire and Civilization sociologist Johan Goudsblom has written what he intends to be a ‘cool book about fire’. The result is a guide for those interested in the larger issues of world history: How did civilization begin? Which institutions can be found in all human societies? Besides the domestication of birds and animals, what other ‘domestications’ have shaped human history?

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