Particular Condition in Life: Self-Employment and Social Mobility in Mid-Victorian Brantford, Ontario
Using extensive quantitative data, Burley provides a cultural analysis of the business community during the mid-nineteenth century. Because self-employment was so pervasive in Brantford, the impact of industrialization was particularly striking. Self-employed businessmen were forced to try to locate themselves in an emerging class system which often contradicted traditional Victorian social ideals of independence and manliness. Burley's exploration of the tensions behind these conflicting values - tensions both between myth and reality and within the bourgeois world view itself - is an important addition to the literature on business behaviour and Victorian cultural history. A Particular Condition in Life will be of interest to social, urban, and labour historians, sociologists, and those interested in the history of Ontario.
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4o per cent American artisans assets blacksmith Brant County Brantford Brantford Township Buffalo and Lake business elite business population businessmen Canadian carriage census Cochrane commercial council County of Brant craft creditors decline Dun's economy employed employers employment enterprise Expositor factory father foundry George Goold Grand Trunk Grand Trunk Railway grocer Hamilton Ignatius Cockshutt immigrants increased independence industrial capitalism interest investment James John Katz Lake Huron less manufacturer Mathews Mercantile merchants mill mortgage debt municipal nessmen occupations Oliver Mowat Ontario operations ownership partnership percentile personal property petite bourgeoisie petty enterprise political production quit business railroad Railway Rank real estate real property relative wealth rental rented retail Robert Sproule sector self-employed self-employment Shenston shoemakers shopkeepers shops social sons success tailoring Thomas tinsmith Toronto town town's trade tradesmen Upper Canada urban wage labour wealthiest wholesalers Wilkes William workers
Page 8 - And class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs.
Page 8 - ... as it happened" (and of the present "as it happens") as distinct from the general and rather abstract models of the historical transformation of societies, class and the problem of class consciousness are inseparable. "Class" in the full sense only comes into existence at the historical moment when classes begin to acquire consciousness of themselves as such.