Description : In this comprehensive, lucidly argued account of the history of thinking about the English national character, one of the leading historians of modern Britain challenges long-held assumptions and familiar stereotypes and offers an entirely new perspective on what it means to think of oneself as being English.
Description : This unique survey of the evolution of the modern Chinese national character incorporates a rich blend of history and theory as well as nation, gender, and film studies. It begins with the dawn of the concept of "nation" in China at the end of the Imperial period, and follows its development from early Republican China to the present People's Republic, drawing on themes of national identity, "Orientalness," racial evolution and purity, cultural and gender roles, regional animosities, historical impediments, and more. The book also takes up the changing American perceptions of Chinese personality development and gender, using materials from American popular culture.
Description : Seen in modern perspective, the concept of national character poses fundamental problems for social science theory and research: To what extent do conditions of life in a particular society give rise to certain patterns in the personalities of its members? What are the consequences? Alex Inkeles surveys various definitions of national character, tracing developments through the twentieth century. His approach is to examine the regularity of specific personality patterns among individuals in a society. He argues that modal personality may be extremely important in determining which new cultural elements are accepted and which institutional forms persist in a society. Reviewing previous studies, Inkeles canvasses the attitudes and psychological states of different nations in an effort to discover a set of values in the United States. He concludes that, despite recent advances in the field, there is much to be done before we can have a clear picture of the degree of differentiation in the personality structure of modern nations. Until now, there were few formal definitions and discussions on national character and the limits of this field of study. This book will be of great interest to psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and political theorists.
Description : A new edition of the seminal work in American studies examines American archetypes such as the Yankee, the minstrel singer, the backwoodsman, and the stroller to trace the origins of humor and the American "character." Original.
Description : A cross-disciplinary and methodologically innovative study, this volume combines historical macro-sociology and the sociology of emotions with historical anthropology and cultural studies. The authors' argument is based on an analysis of literary sources, mainly novels and plays, applying a sociology of literature approach. By employing and analyzing empirical details of individual cases and texts, the authors reach a clearer understanding of seemingly intangible and irrational aspects of national identity.
Description : "What then is the American, this new man?" This question is explored here through the lives and writings of a sequence of imaginative authors each of whom confronted a crucial moment in the evolution of the new nation (from Crevecoeur and the Revolution, through Washington Irving and Jeffersonian Democracy, to James Fenimore Cooper and the Era of Good Feelings). At the centre of these confrontations was a division between those who claimed national perfection had been obtained, and those who, while desperately wanting to believe this, perceived all too clearly that that perfection had not yet come. Rediscovering this neglected literary debate, The Literary Quest for an American National Character illuminates afresh the traumatic birth and development of the new American nation.
Description : In a work of unusual ambition and rigorous comparison, Roberto Romani considers the concept of 'national character' in the intellectual histories of Britain and France. Perceptions of collective mentalities influenced a variety of political and economic debates, ranging from anti-absolutist polemic in eighteenth-century France to appraisals of socialism in Edwardian Britain. Romani argues that the eighteenth-century notion of 'national character', with its stress on climate and government, evolved into a concern with the virtues of 'public spirit' irrespective of national traits, in parallel with the establishment of representative institutions on the Continent. His discussion of contemporary thinkers includes Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hume, Millar, Burke, Constant, de Staël and Tocqueville. After the mid-nineteenth century, the advent of social scientific approaches, including those of Spencer, Hobson and Durkheim, shifted the focus from the qualities required by political liberty to those needed to operate complex social systems, and to bear its psychological pressures.