How to Observe Morals and Manners

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9781456515140: How to Observe Morals and Manners
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How to Observe Morals and Manners is a sociological treatise on methods of observing manners and morals written by Harriet Martineau in 1837-8 after a tour of America. She stated that she wasn't looking for fodder for a book, but also privately remarked that "I am tired of being kept floundering among the details which are all a Hall and a Trollope [who wrote Domestic Manners of the Americans] can bring away.” As opposed to Victorian prescriptive handbooks of how societies ought to behave, Martineau focuses on observing locals on their own terms and emphasizes the need to accept cultural relativism of other people. Martineau combined what she called manners and morals. She states that "Manners have not been treated of separately from Morals in any of the preceding divisions of the objects of the traveler's observation the reason is, that manners are inseparable from morals, or, at least, cease to have meaning when separated". This is distinctive against Mary Wollstonecraft who, in her preface to A Vindication of the Rights of Women, stated that Manners and morals are so nearly allied that they have often been confounded; but, though the former should only be the natural reflection of the latter, yet, when various causes have produced factitious and corrupt manners, which are very early caught, morality becomes an empty name."

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About the Author:

Harriet Martineau (1802 –1876) was an English social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first woman sociologist. Martineau wrote more than 50 books and is significant to the discipline of sociology, not least in having translated various writings of Auguste Comte, but also through her holistic perspective that 'When one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions'. She also believed an analysis of a society should be required to have an understanding of women's lives. Martineau changed sociological opinions on issues previously ignored such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations.

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ISBN 10:  1417973897 ISBN 13:  9781417973897
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2005
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