Civility: A Cultural History

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University of Toronto Press, Apr 18, 2009 - History - 608 pages
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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.


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User Review  - bdavetian - Borders

Benet Davetian’s scintillating tour de force fills a gaping void in the history of ideas. If you are serious about the civility-civilization connection, you will want your well-thumbed copy of Norbert ... Read full review


1 Introduction
Part IThe Genealogy of Western Courtesy and Civility
2 From Barbarism to Courtly Manners
3 Secular Civility in the Renaissance
Protestantism and the Enlightenment
5 French Court Society the French Revolution and the Paradoxes of French Civility
6 England and the Victorian Ethic
8 Conformity Opposition and Identity
Part IIIThe Multifaceted Anatomy of Civility
9 Towards a Cultural Sociology of Civility
Part IVContemporary French American and English Civility and Interaction
10 A Comparative Field Study of France America and England
Part VSumming Up
11 Civilizing and Recivilizing Processes

Democracy and Informal Civility
Part IIThe Rise of the LateModern American Self

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About the author (2009)

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.

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