"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."
- Theory and Society
"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.
From the growing taboo toward the displays of superiority and inferiority and diminishing social and psychicogical distance between people, it reveals an ′emancipation of emotions′ and the new representation of emotion at the centre of personality. This thought-provoking book traces:
Continuing the analysis of Sex and Manners (SAGE, 2004), this book is a dazzling work of historical sociology.
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