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. The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more ...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.
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Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, is Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. Her work involves monitoring and assessing global sociocultural trends, and has included research, publications and broadcasts on many aspects of human behaviour including: social aspects of drinking, sex differences, flirting, body image, pub culture, gossip, eating, health issues, taboos, horseracing, mobile phones, email, stress, drugs, crime, violence and disorder.Review:
She has not only compiled a comprehensive list of English qualities, she has examined them in depth and wondered how we came to acquire them. Her book is a delightful read. The Sunday Times 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 Amusing ... entertaining. The Times Watching the English ... will make you laugh out loud ("Oh God. I do that!") and cringe simultaneously ("Oh God. I do that as well."). This is a hilarious book which just shows us for what we are ... beautifully-observed. It is a wonderful read for both the English and those who look at us and wonder why we do what we do. Now they'll know. Birmingham Post Fascinating reading. Oxford Times An absolutely brilliant examination of English culture and how foreigners take as complete mystery the things we take for granted. Jennifer Saunders, The Times 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
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