Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
In WATCHING THE ENGLISH anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour. Her minute observation of the way we talk, dress, eat, drink, work, play, shop, drive, flirt, fight, queue - and moan about it all - exposes the hidden rules that we all unconsciously obey.
The rules of weather-speak. The Importance of Not Being Earnest rule. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo. Humour rules. Pub etiquette. Table manners. The rules of bogside reading. The dangers of excessive moderation. The eccentric-sheep rule. The English 'social dis-ease'.
Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments (using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness.
If you like this kind of anthropology (and I do) there is a wealth of it to enjoy in this book. Her observations are acute...fortunately she doesn't write like an anthropologist but like an English woman -with amusement, not solemnity, able to laugh at herself as well as us. (Daily Mail)I loved the section on mobile-phone etiquette. Shrewd...I liked the chapter on English humour. This is an entertaining, clever book. Do read it and then pass it on. (Daily Telegraph)show more
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