This thought-provoking book traces:
" The increasing permissiveness in public and private manners, such as introductions, the use of personal pronouns, social kissing, dancing, and dating
" The ascent and integration of a wide variety of groups - including the working classes, women, youth and immigrants - and the sweeping changes this has imposed on relations of social inferiority and superiority
" The shifts in self-regulation that require manners to seem 'natural', at ease and authentic
" Rising external social constraints towards being reflexive, showing presence of mind, considerateness, role-taking, and the ability to tolerate and control conflicts, to compromise
" Growing interdependence and social integration, declining power differences and the diminishing social and psychic distance between people
Continuing the analysis of Sex and Manners, this book is a dazzling work of historical sociology and a fascinating read.