• 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.

The Spiral Process of Informalization: Phases of Informalization and Reformalization
The spiral process of informalization: Phases of informalization and reformalization

Reduced inequality of power and power chances will have always gone hand in hand with various types of informalization, some of them more conspicuous than others. But it has only been since the end of the nineteenth century that the hitherto dominant formalization – the trend towards more extensive, more detailed, and stricter regimes of manners and emotions – has been overshadowed by a long-term process of informalization.

Informalization has not been a unilinear process; it has proceeded in several waves or spurts, through which the general trend accelerated. In all four countries under study, this general trend towards less formal and rigid regimes of manners and ...

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