Civility: A Cultural History
Cut off in traffic? Bumped without apology on the subway? Forced to listen to a profane conversation in a public space? In today's Western societies, many feel that there has been a noticeable and marked decrease in mutual consideration in both public and private settings. Are we less civil now than in the past? Benet Davetian's masterful study Civility: A Cultural History responds to this question through a historical, social, and psychological discussion of the civility practices in three nations - England, France, and the United States.
Davetian's rich, multi-dimensional review of civility from 1200 to the present day provides an in-depth analysis of the social and personal psychology of human interaction and charts a new course for the study and understanding of civility and civil society. Civility addresses major topics in public discourse today regarding the ideals and practices of civility and the possibility of a future civility ethic capable of inspiring cooperation across cultural and national boundaries.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 608 pages
- Illustrations: 12
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.5in x 9.5in
'Civility is a tour-de-force: a work of dazzling scholarship on this core concept of our social life, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present, and covering France, England and the United States. Spitting, line-up etiquette, toilet hygiene, good manners, and the relativity of politeness are all discussed as they change and vary in this most engaging and poetically written work. Davetian is as much at home with "The Art of Courtly Love," the Enlightenment, the rise of individualism, the Victorian gentleman and gentlewoman, as with contemporary teens and narcissism. It's absolutely fascinating!'
Anthony Synnott, Professor of Sociology at Concordia University, Montreal, author of The Body Social, Shadows: Issues and Social Problems in Canada, and co-author of Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell.
'Benet Davetian's Civility will take you on a compelling social and psychological journey through the history of civility, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Essential reading for anyone interested in international standards and customs of courtesy, Davetian's perspective on the cross-cultural impact of civility practices is not only thorough and insightful, but also encouragingly optimistic.'
Louise Fox, etiquette coach and director of The Etiquette Leade
'Civility: A Cultural History is impressive in both scope and depth, engaging in an innovative and substantial dialogue on the concept of civility. Well documented and erudite, Benet Davetian's book not only historicizes the development of civility but also locates the concept in today's society and offers a renewed perspective on crucial issues such as multiculturalism. I read Civility with great pleasure.'
Jean-François Côté, Department of Sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal. Author of Architecture d'un marcher: Entretiens avec Wajdi Mouawad; Le triangle d'Hermès: Poe, Stein, Warhol, figures de la modernité
Dr Benet Davetian is chair and associate professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada) and director of the Civility Institute. He is listed in Canada‘s Who‘s Who for his accomplishments in literature and the social sciences.
Table of contents
Part I: The Genealogy of Western Courtesy and Civility
From Barbarism to Courtly Manners
Secular Civility in the Renaissance
Shifts in Identity and Awareness: Protestantism and the Enlightenment
French Court Society, the French Revolution, and the Paradoxes of French Civility
England and the Victorian Ethic
The American Experience: Democracy and Informal Civility
Part II: The Rise of the Late-Modern American Self
Conformity, Opposition, and Identity
Part III: The Multifaceted Anatomy of Civility
Towards a Cultural Sociology of Civility
Part IV: Contemporary French, American, and English Civility and Interaction
A Comparative Field Study of France, America, and England
Part V: Summing Up
Civilizing and Recivilizing Processes
Subjects and Courses