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Middle Class Culture in the Nineteenth Century
 
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Middle Class Culture in the Nineteenth Century
America, Australia and Britain
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
19 Dec 2002
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£89.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780333997468
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eBooks ebook on Palgrave Connect ebook available via library subscriptions ebook on ebooks.com 
 
 


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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

A new culture of gentility came to define the surging middle class of the early nineteenth century throughout the global sphere of 'Greater Britain'. Motivated by the aspiration of self-improvement and grounded in fierce self-control, would-be middle class people generated a characteristic genteel habitus or lifestyle. It required certain minimum financial resources but more importantly, knowledge of how to conduct oneself correctly. The right combination of financial and cultural capital enabled practice of the rituals of etiquette and consumption of tasteful goods, such as clothing and furnishings. Together, etiquette and consumption acted as mechanisms of distinction, defining not only the middle class from above or below, but also layer upon layer of middle class segments. This culture of gentility came to define and unite the emergent middle class around the turn of the 19th century in Britain, the United States and English-speaking colonies around the globe.


Description

A new culture of gentility came to define the surging middle class of the early nineteenth century throughout the global sphere of 'Greater Britain'. Motivated by the aspiration of self-improvement and grounded in fierce self-control, would-be middle class people generated a characteristic genteel habitus or lifestyle. It required certain minimum financial resources but more importantly, knowledge of how to conduct oneself correctly. The right combination of financial and cultural capital enabled practice of the rituals of etiquette and consumption of tasteful goods, such as clothing and furnishings. Together, etiquette and consumption acted as mechanisms of distinction, defining not only the middle class from above or below, but also layer upon layer of middle class segments. This culture of gentility came to define and unite the emergent middle class around the turn of the 19th century in Britain, the United States and English-speaking colonies around the globe.


Reviews

'Linda Young's excellent study will be indispensable to students of Nineteenth-century material culture, whether in England, the United States, or Australia. Whether writing of deportment or jewellery, piano-playing or taking a bath, she ably shows the standards and practices through which the rising middle-classes sought to establish their sense of identity. Lucid, detailed, and insightful, Young's study fascinatingly points up the continuities and correspondences that went to make the emergent bourgeoisie a truly global phenomenon.' - Kate Flint, Rutgers University

'She [Linda Young] has set herself the hugely ambitious task of summarizing nineteenth-century in Australia, America, and Britain in two hundred pages. Her book is perceptive, theoretically sophisticated, and a useful additin to the middle-class history library.' - H-Net Reviews (H-Albion)


Contents

Introduction
Cultural Baggage: The Genteel World
In-between: The Problem of the Middle Class
The Civilising Process: The Morphology of Gentility
Under Control: The Genteel Body
Best Behaviour: Public Relationships
Correct Taste: The Material Conditions of Gentility
Conclusion
End Notes
Bibliography


Authors

LINDA YOUNG is a historian by discipline and a curator by trade, teaching Cultural Heritage Management at the University of Canberra. As a scholar and a heritage practitioner, she is especially interested in the intersection of the history and the material culture of domestic life, as expressed in feminist history and historic houses.