While the opposing paradigms of globalization and fragmentation compete in often bloody and destructive ways in the world today, this book convincingly reminds us of the importance of finding out more about the complex and changing ways in which we are connected. The authors demonstrate that the more we understand our connectedness and deal with its consequences, the less dependent and helpless we become. The critical, multidisciplinary perspectives they offer cover a wide range of subjects, from the world wide web to medieval poetry, nations and gender, cancer narratives and money, emotion management and the financial markets, and the American civilizing process and the repression of shame. The contributions bear witness to Elias's innovative achievements while the authors continue his stunning explorations, extending them into other areas of the humanities and the sciences, and presenting their own wide-ranging and penetrating insights into our mutual dependence. Contributors are Jorge Arditi (SUNY-Buffalo), Godfried Van Benthem Van Den Bergh (emeritus, Erasmus University, Rotterdam), Reinhard Blomert (Humboldt University, Germany and Karl-Franzens University, Austria), Stephen Guy-Bray (University of Calgary), Thomas M. Kemple (University of British Columbia), Hermann Korte (emeritus, University of Hamburg, Germany), Helmut Kuzmics (University of Graz, Austria), Stephen Mennell (National University of Ireland), Thomas Salumets, Thomas J. Scheff (emeritus, University of California in Santa Barbara), Ulrich C. Teucher (University of British Columbia), Annette Treibel (Pedagogical University of Karlsruhe), and Cas Wouters (Utrecht University, Netherlands).