• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This highly original book explains the sweeping changes to twentieth-century regimes of manners and self. Broad in scope and deep in analytic reach, it provides a wealth of empirical evidence to demonstrate how changes in the code of manners and emotions in four countries (Germany, Netherlands, England and the US) have undergone increasing informalization. From the growing taboo toward the displays of superiority and inferiority and diminishing social and psychological distance between people, it reveals an 'emancipation of emotions' and the new representation of emotion at the centre of personality. This thought-provoking book traces:" The increasing permissiveness in public and private manners, such as introductions, the use of personal pronouns, social kissing, dancing, and dating " The ascent and integration of a wide variety of groups - including the working classes, women, youth and immigrants - and the sweeping changes this has imposed on relations of social inferiority and superiority" The shifts in self-regulation that require manners to seem 'natural', at ease and authentic " Rising external social constraints towards being reflexive, showing presence of mind, considerateness, role-taking, and the ability to tolerate and control conflicts, to compromise" Growing interdependence and social integration, declining power differences and the diminishing social and psychic distance between peopleContinuing the analysis of Sex and Manners, this book is a dazzling work of historical sociology and a fascinating read.

Introduction
Introduction

Interest in the history of manners is fairly new and has grown together with interest in the history of emotions, mentalities, and everyday life, all of which became serious topics of research only from the 1960s onwards. Among the studies that prepared the way was the work of the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, particularly his The Waning of the Middle Ages, originally published in 1919. This book had an unusual focus on manners, emotions, mentalities, and everyday life in the fifteenth century; it presented a lively sketch of the wide range of behaviour, the intensities of joy and sorrow, and the public nature of life. This work was exceptional, however, and remained marginal until the 1930s when the historians Lucien Febvre, Marc Bloch, and ...

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