Informalization: Manners and Emotions Since 1890
"This book shows that manners, far from being superficial adornments of behaviour, are thoroughly interwoven with our personalities and the structures of our societies. The concept of ‘informalization’ provides both an invaluable addition to Norbert Elias’s theory of civilizing processes and a most useful tool for understanding how changes in manners are related to shifts in the balances of power between social classes, sexes, and generations"
- Johan Goudsblom, University of Amsterdam
"Cas Wouters stakes out a powerful theory about changes in human relationships in the Western world over the past twelve decades... essential reading for anyone interested in the contemporary human condition."
"It is written in clear, unequivocal language, abounds with detail and replaces many normative statements about the alienating state of contemporary, capitalist, mass-consumption-oriented bureaucracy.... A nuanced, subtle and theoretically informed analysis of the sometimes quite chaotic civilising process of the last century' - Figurations
This 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.
Continuing the analysis of Sex and Manners (SAGE, 2004), this book is a dazzling work of historical sociology.
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3 Social Mixing and Status Anxieties
4 Decreasing Social and Psychic Distance Increasing Social Integration and Identification
5 Introductions and Friendships Forms of Address and Other Differences in National Habitus Formation
Phases of Informalization and Reformalization