Civility: A Cultural History by Benet Davetian

Civility: A Cultural History

byBenet Davetian

Paperback | April 18, 2009

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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.

About The Author

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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Details & Specs

Title:Civility: A Cultural HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 9 × 6.05 × 1.17 inPublished:April 18, 2009Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing DivisionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802097227

ISBN - 13:9780802097224

Customer Reviews of Civility: A Cultural History


Extra Content

Table of Contents



Part I: The Genealogy of Western Courtesy and Civility

From Barbarism to Courtly Manners
Secular Civility in the Renaissance
Shifts in Identity and Awareness: Protestantism and the Enlightenment
French Court Society, the French Revolution, and the Paradoxes of French Civility
England and the Victorian Ethic
The American Experience: Democracy and Informal Civility

Part II: The Rise of the Late-Modern American Self

Conformity, Opposition, and Identity

Part III: The Multifaceted Anatomy of Civility

Towards a Cultural Sociology of Civility

Part IV: Contemporary French, American, and English Civility and Interaction

A Comparative Field Study of France, America, and England

Part V: Summing Up

Civilizing and Recivilizing Processes



Editorial Reviews

'Civility: A Cultural History is impressive in both scope and depth, engaging in an innovative and substantial dialogue on the concept of civility. Well documented and erudite, Benet Davetian's book not only historicizes the development of civility but also locates the concept in today's society and offers a renewed perspective on crucial issues such as multiculturalism. I read Civility with great pleasure.' - Jean-François Côté, Department of Sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal. Author of Architecture d'un marcher: Entretiens avec Wajdi Mouawad; Le triangle d'Hermès: Poe, Stein, Warhol, figures de la modernité