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The term civility defines a state of cultural refinement associated with good citizenship. Sharing a root with the Latin word for city (civitas), it refers to the sophisticated behavior of an urbanite of the times, in contrast with rural coarseness or barbarism. Rules of civility govern areas of personal conduct and behavior in public, including table manners, bodily carriage, dress, conversation, courtship, and personal hygiene. The modern usage of the word can be traced to Erasmus, whose treatise De civilate morum puerilium (On Civility in Boys) (1530) described the need to instruct youth to control their behavior and appearance. The term was soon embraced across Europe, and Erasmus's treatise was used as a primer for young men.

Codes of civility are boundary-maintaining discourses that establish and ...

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