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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour

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Overview

A runaway bestseller in the UK, Watching the English is now available in the U.S. for the first time! Witty and wise, Kate Fox reveals the quirks, habits, and foibles of the English people. Putting the national character under her microscope, Fox explores this strange and fascinating culture, governed by a complex set of unspoken rules and a bizarre code of conduct. Through anthropological analysis and a series of unorthodox experiments (often using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Fox discovers what these ...

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Overview

A runaway bestseller in the UK, Watching the English is now available in the U.S. for the first time! Witty and wise, Kate Fox reveals the quirks, habits, and foibles of the English people. Putting the national character under her microscope, Fox explores this strange and fascinating culture, governed by a complex set of unspoken rules and a bizarre code of conduct. Through anthropological analysis and a series of unorthodox experiments (often using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Fox discovers what these unwritten codes tell us about Englishness: the rules of weather-speak, the ironic-gnome rule, the reflex apology rule, the paranoid-pantomime rule, class anxiety tests, and the money-talk taboo, among others. Watching the English is a biting, affectionate, insightful, and often hilarious look at English society.

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Editorial Reviews

Camille Tuutti-Winkler
In an insightful and engrossing book, Fox explains the puzzling behavior of her fellow Englishmen in an informal way that puts other social anthropologists to shame. While she uses some academic lingo, Watching the English is far from being a dry read or a clinical observation of a certain group of people... Despite being more than 400 pages long, Watching the English reads easily, but is still jam-packed with information and tidbits about the English, and non-English readers are bound to at least once exclaim, 'What?! The English really do that?'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857885088
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/25/2008
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, is Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford and a Fellow od the Institute for Cultural Research. The author or co-author of four previous books, Fox's work centers on intriguing aspects of human behaviour including pub culture, gossip, flirting, horseracing, mobile phones, email, stress, drugs, crime, violence and social taboos. She lives in London.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Well Done, and Well Played

    Kate Fox has managed to present a wealth of observation and some pretty academic information in an entertaining and personal manner, and all this while still keeping the quality of the writing very high. It's a great book. The perfect mix of a well-researched study and notes from a personal friend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2008

    Equal parts educational and hilarious

    The unusual (and often inexplicable) behavior of the English is perfectly addressed by a delightful (and often apologetic) Kate Fox. As an American living in England, this work is one of the best gifts I've ever received!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Boring

    Couldn't read keep reading it, boring. A

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    Enjoyable Reading

    I purchased this book to hopefully better understand The English. It has given me an insight into their way of life with some funnies along the way. I recommend this to others who are interested in learning about The English and the reasons why they do what they do and say what they say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Now I get it!

    Kate Fox has a wonderfully entertaining style of presenting information. Nonetheless, after a bit the information gets tedious. Her stated goal is to discover what makes the English english. I was amused by her findings, but she repeats the hypothesis a tad too much. Still, if I were born & bred British I might be a little more "into" it. An entertaining look at the British and a must read if you plan to be in England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    Amusing

    Kate Fox is an anthropologist and reminds the reader of that at times when she writes about the various methods anthropologists use. It's probably a requirement of her profession but I found it distracting. I bought this book because I was told it was hilarious. There are some funny facts in here and some great insight into the English way of life. If I ever find myself in a pub, I'll know what to do. And I hope no one ever watches me eat peas!

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    Posted May 14, 2011

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    Posted April 27, 2012

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