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Diane Publishing Books
Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860
C. Dallett Hemphill (au). Anglo-Amer. wrestled with profound cultural contradictions as they shifted from the hierarchical & patriarchal society of the 17th-cent. frontier to the modern & fluid class democracy of the mid-19th cent. How could traditional inequality be maintained in the socially leveling environment of the early colonial wilderness? How could 19th-cent. Amer. pretend to be equal in an unequal society? Manners provided ritual solutions to these cultural problems by allowing Amer. to act out & reinforce power relations just as these relations underwent challenges. Analyzing the sermons, child-rearing guides, advice books, & etiquette manuals that taught Amer. how to behave, Hemphill connects these instruct. to practices & concerns found in diaries & letters.
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