• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

During the past two centuries, the figure of the flâneur has metamorphosed from a literary type associated with the public places of Paris into a protean cultural myth used to represent the fragmented experiences of modernity. This paradoxical figure came into existence within an increasingly democratized and commercialized cultural marketplace that emerged in Paris during the early nineteenth century. He was both the product and the producer of popular literary texts such as guide books, illustrated essays, feuilletons, and cheap pocket-size booklets called physiologies that were devoted to the classification of urban types. This entry looks at the character, his impact, and his evolution.


Invariably depicted as a man of leisure, meticulously dressed in black frock coat and top hat and carrying a walking stick or ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles