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How Civilized Were the Victorians?

Andersson, Peter LU (2015) In Journal of Victorian Culture 20(4). p.439-452
Abstract
This article addresses the role of the civilizing process' in the historiography of the Victorian period. The author develops a critique of perspectives that deem the nineteenth century to be an era of discipline and self-restraint, arguing that these result from the hegemonic position of literary perspectives within Victorian Studies and their frequent reliance on Foucauldian-inspired techniques of discourse analysis. In response, he outlines and illustrates the potential for alternative research agendas and approaches that move away from representational sources in order that the Victorian period can be viewed in a new light. These include the study of vernacular photography, cultures of leisure, and the subcultures of groups where the... (More)
This article addresses the role of the civilizing process' in the historiography of the Victorian period. The author develops a critique of perspectives that deem the nineteenth century to be an era of discipline and self-restraint, arguing that these result from the hegemonic position of literary perspectives within Victorian Studies and their frequent reliance on Foucauldian-inspired techniques of discourse analysis. In response, he outlines and illustrates the potential for alternative research agendas and approaches that move away from representational sources in order that the Victorian period can be viewed in a new light. These include the study of vernacular photography, cultures of leisure, and the subcultures of groups where the importance of nonverbal' practices and the cultures inherent in bodily experiences are highlighted - forms of expression that reach beyond established discourse. It is argued that the failure of scholars of the Victorian period to consider this nonverbal' culture means that the theoretical frameworks of comprehension that currently characterize Victorian Studies are underdeveloped. The essay calls for Victorianists to broaden their theoretical perspectives, engage with new sources, and embrace new methodologies in order to enlarge our understanding of nineteenth-century culture. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Victorian, Norbert Elias, nonverbal, manners, informalization, discourse, civilizing process
in
Journal of Victorian Culture
volume
20
issue
4
pages
439 - 452
publisher
Edinburgh University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000364321200001
  • scopus:84947023222
ISSN
1355-5502
DOI
10.1080/13555502.2015.1090673
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2a349d22-c3c8-4e88-b661-9e2733669fc3 (old id 8383374)
date added to LUP
2015-12-18 14:22:45
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:01:22
@article{2a349d22-c3c8-4e88-b661-9e2733669fc3,
  abstract     = {This article addresses the role of the civilizing process' in the historiography of the Victorian period. The author develops a critique of perspectives that deem the nineteenth century to be an era of discipline and self-restraint, arguing that these result from the hegemonic position of literary perspectives within Victorian Studies and their frequent reliance on Foucauldian-inspired techniques of discourse analysis. In response, he outlines and illustrates the potential for alternative research agendas and approaches that move away from representational sources in order that the Victorian period can be viewed in a new light. These include the study of vernacular photography, cultures of leisure, and the subcultures of groups where the importance of nonverbal' practices and the cultures inherent in bodily experiences are highlighted - forms of expression that reach beyond established discourse. It is argued that the failure of scholars of the Victorian period to consider this nonverbal' culture means that the theoretical frameworks of comprehension that currently characterize Victorian Studies are underdeveloped. The essay calls for Victorianists to broaden their theoretical perspectives, engage with new sources, and embrace new methodologies in order to enlarge our understanding of nineteenth-century culture.},
  author       = {Andersson, Peter},
  issn         = {1355-5502},
  keyword      = {Victorian,Norbert Elias,nonverbal,manners,informalization,discourse,civilizing process},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {439--452},
  publisher    = {Edinburgh University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Victorian Culture},
  title        = {How Civilized Were the Victorians?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13555502.2015.1090673},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2015},
}