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Watching the English by Kate Fox
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Watching the English (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Kate Fox (Author)

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2,036545,612 (3.82)79
In this completely revised and updated edition of international bestseller WATCHING THE ENGLISH, anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. Now with new survey data to add weight to her original fieldwork findings, and more extensive field-research and experiments to back up earlier observations, Kate Fox has deciphered yet more enigmatic behaviour codes, adding new rules, new subcultures, new chapters and over 100 updates. If you're English, this new edition of Kate Fox's acclaimed international bestseller will make you stand back and re-examine everything you take for granted - and if you aren't English you'll finally understand all our peculiar little ways. WATCHING THE ENGLISH has sold more than half a million copies and has been translated into many languages. Not only a worldwide bestseller, but also a set text for university anthropology courses, WATCHING THE ENGLISH has been widely praised as a revealing and entertaining dissection of the English national character.… (more)
Member:Grobiewan
Title:Watching the English
Authors:Kate Fox (Author)
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2004), 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox (2004)

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» See also 79 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
A fantastic book! It was humorous and extremely interesting at the same time. There's so much detail, but I didn't feel as if it ever became tedious to read. Kate Fox does a wonderful job of keeping the the book light while being informative about the English. A perfect combination! ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
English people are weird. English people write books about how they are weird. Weird ( )
1 vote Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2962509.html

Fox wittily dissects the behaviour of the English in 400 pages of anthropology, concluding that it all comes down to social dis-ease, with reflexes of humour, moderation, and hypocrisy, an outlook based on empiricism, Eeyorishness and class-consciousness, and values including fair play, courtesy and modesty. She enlarges on her concept of social dis-ease:

"It is our lack of ease, discomfort and incompetence in the field (minefield) of social interaction; our embarrassment, insularity, awkwardness, perverse obliqueness, emotional constipation, fear of intimacy and general inability to engage in a normal and straightforward fashion with other human beings."

Since the author herself is English, the book falls firmly into the acceptable discourse of being self-deprecatingly funny. The most enjoyable chapters are perhaps those on pets and hobbies - I now begin to understand DIY. She is even self-deprecating about her own discipline: "social science can sometimes almost be as insightful as good stand-up comedy."

Of course, I am not English myself, but I am not unfamiliar with them (having married one), and as a close observer for several decades, I think Fox has nailed a number of characteristic behaviours beautifully. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 11, 2018 |
A British friend recommended this, and it absolutely did not disappoint. It's a rare book that makes me laugh out loud as many times as this one did. Thoroughly useful, though it does go on a bit toward the end. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Nov 21, 2017 |
An entertaining and humorous dissection of how the English behave. Kate has spent hours eavesdropping on her fellow citizens, and has nailed our foibles, I never knew being modest could be so boastful.... ( )
  LARA335 | May 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
"Social dis-ease", she decides, is the "central core of Englishness". She holds this congenital awkwardness responsible for everything from our "obsession with privacy" to our celebrated courtesy, famous reserve and infinite capacity for embarrassment. "We do everything in moderation," she believes. Fox's curiosity about English behaviour, which she attempts to reduce, in this prodigously long investigation, into key constituent parts, is matched only by her regret that we are not a more free and easy nationality.
 
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To Henry, William, Sarah and Katharine
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I am sitting in a pub near Paddington station, clutching a small brandy.
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There are of course other theories of language evolution, the most appealing of which is Geoffrey Miller's proposition that language evolved as a courtship device - to enable us to flirt. (from footnote 15)
the Edwardian rhyme "The Germanys live in Germany; The Romans live in Rome; The Turkeys live in Turkey; But the English live at home. (from footnote 31)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this completely revised and updated edition of international bestseller WATCHING THE ENGLISH, anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. Now with new survey data to add weight to her original fieldwork findings, and more extensive field-research and experiments to back up earlier observations, Kate Fox has deciphered yet more enigmatic behaviour codes, adding new rules, new subcultures, new chapters and over 100 updates. If you're English, this new edition of Kate Fox's acclaimed international bestseller will make you stand back and re-examine everything you take for granted - and if you aren't English you'll finally understand all our peculiar little ways. WATCHING THE ENGLISH has sold more than half a million copies and has been translated into many languages. Not only a worldwide bestseller, but also a set text for university anthropology courses, WATCHING THE ENGLISH has been widely praised as a revealing and entertaining dissection of the English national character.

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