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Fashioning the bourgeoisie : a history of clothing in the nineteenth century /

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When department stores like Le Bon March first opened their doors in mid-nineteenth-century Paris, shoppers were offered more than racks of ready-made frock coats and crinolines. They were given the chance to acquire a lifestyle as well--that of the bourgeoisie. Wearing proper clothing encouraged proper behavior, went the prevailing belief. Available now for the first time in English, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie was one of the first extensive studies to explain a culture's sociology through the seemingly simple issue of the choice of clothing. Philippe Perrot shows, through a delightful tour of the rise of the ready-made fashion industry in France, how clothing can not only reflect but also inculcate beliefs, values, and aspirations. By the middle of the century, men were prompted to disdain the decadent and gaudy colors of the pre-Revolutionary period and wear unrelievedly black frock coats suitable to the manly and serious world of commerce. Their wives and daughters, on the other hand, adorned themselves in bright colors and often uncomfortable and impractical laces and petticoats, to signal the status of their family. The consumer pastime of shopping was born, as women spent their spare hours keeping up their middle-class appearance, or creating one by judicious purchases. As Paris became the fashion capital and bourgeois modes of dress and their inherent attitudes became the ruling lifestyle of Western Europe and America, clothing and its "civilizing" tendencies were imported to non-Western colonies as well. In the face of what Perrot calls this "leveling process," the upper classes tried to maintain their stature and right to elegance by supporting what became the high fashion industry. Richly detailed, entertaining, and provocative, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie reveals to us the sources of many of our contemporary rules of fashion and etiquette. In the years between 1900 and 1930, American psychiatrists transformed their profession from a marginal science focused primarily on the care of the mentally ill into a powerful discipline concerned with analyzing the common difficulties of everyday life. How did psychiatrists effect such a dramatic change in their profession's fortunes and aims? How did their new cultural authority affect their relationship with their patients? How did they treat social workers, all of them women, who were striving to develop their own professional identities? In answering these questions, Elizabeth Lunbeck focuses on the revelatory ideas of gender that structured the new "psychiatry of the normal," a field that grew to take the whole world of human endeavor as its object. Lunbeck locates her study in early twentieth-century Boston, providing a vivid picture not only of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, upon whose patient records she has drawn extensively, but also of the increasingly urbanized society that shaped its goals and practices. As she tells a variety of fascinating stories about individual patients, psychiatrists, and social workers, Lunbeck shows that early twentieth-century Boston offered psychiatrists a vast reservoir of material with which to work. Psychiatrists made strenuous attempts to deal with the treatment of syphilis and with other newly urgent social issues, such as immigration, poverty, delinquency, and drunkenness. More significantly they gained unprecedented entre into the "private" realm of the home. Lunbeck follows psychiatrists as they turned the problems they identified there--sexuality, marriage, relations between the sexes--into the stuff of their science. In the process, issues of gender and personal identity assumed a new prominence in psychiatric thought. Lunbeck's sweeping narrative, in fact, deals not just with the development of psychiatry but with the uncertain and often stormy advent of sexual modernity, a modernity that many have suggested was enabled by psychiatry. The new psychiatry would continue to deal with recognized mental illness, but the question of what and who was normal increasingly would engage the psychiatrist's interest. As an explanation of how this came to be so, this book will interest students of the history of psychiatry and of science, as well as those readers concerned with gender issues and the development of American culture in general. When department stores like Le Bon March first opened their doors in mid-nineteenth-century Paris, shoppers were offered more than racks of ready-made frock coats and crinolines. They were given the chance to acquire a lifestyle as well--that of the bourgeoisie. Wearing proper clothing encouraged proper behavior, went the prevailing belief. Available now for the first time in English, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie was one of the first extensive studies to explain a culture's sociology through the seemingly simple issue of the choice of clothing. Philippe Perrot shows, through a delightful tour of the rise of the ready-made fashion industry in France, how clothing can not only reflect but also inculcate beliefs, values, and aspirations. By the middle of the century, men were prompted to disdain the decadent and gaudy colors of the pre-Revolutionary period and wear unrelievedly black frock coats suitable to the manly and serious world of commerce. Their wives and daughters, on the other hand, adorned themselves in bright colors and often uncomfortable and impractical laces and petticoats, to signal the status of their family. The consumer pastime of shopping was born, as women spent their spare hours keeping up their middle-class appearance, or creating one by judicious purchases. As Paris became the fashion capital and bourgeois modes of dress and their inherent attitudes became the ruling lifestyle of Western Europe and America, clothing and its "civilizing" tendencies were imported to non-Western colonies as well. In the face of what Perrot calls this "leveling process," the upper classes tried to maintain their stature and right to elegance by supporting what became the high fashion industry. Richly detailed, entertaining, and provocative, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie reveals to us the sources of many of our contemporary rules of fashion and etiquette. In the years between 1900 and 1930, American psychiatrists transformed their profession from a marginal science focused primarily on the care of the mentally ill into a powerful discipline concerned with analyzing the common difficulties of everyday life. How did psychiatrists effect such a dramatic change in their profession's fortunes and aims? How did their new cultural authority affect their relationship with their patients? How did they treat social workers, all of them women, who were striving to develop their own professional identities? In answering these questions, Elizabeth Lunbeck focuses on the revelatory ideas of gender that structured the new "psychiatry of the normal," a field that grew to take the whole world of human endeavor as its object. Lunbeck locates her study in early twentieth-century Boston, providing a vivid picture not only of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, upon whose patient records she has drawn extensively, but also of the increasingly urbanized society that shaped its goals and practices. As she tells a variety of fascinating stories about individual patients, psychiatrists, and social workers, Lunbeck shows that early twentieth-century Boston offered psychiatrists a vast reservoir of material with which to work. Psychiatrists made strenuous attempts to deal with the treatment of syphilis and with other newly urgent social issues, such as immigration, poverty, delinquency, and drunkenness. More significantly they gained unprecedented entre into the "private" realm of the home. Lunbeck follows psychiatrists as they turned the problems they identified there--sexuality, marriage, relations between the sexes--into the stuff of their science. In the process, issues of gender and personal identity assumed a new prominence in psychiatric thought. Lunbeck's sweeping narrative, in fact, deals not just with the development of psychiatry but with the uncertain and often stormy advent of sexual modernity, a modernity that many have suggested was enabled by psychiatry. The new psychiatry would continue to deal with recognized mental illness, but the question of what and who was normal increasingly would engage the psychiatrist's interest. As an explanation of how this came to be so, this book will interest students of the history of psychiatry and of science, as well as those readers concerned with gender issues and the development of American culture in general.

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