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Civil Society in British HistoryIdeas, Identities, Institutions$
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Jose Harris

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.001.0001

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Altercation Over Civil Society: The Bitter Cry of the Edwardian Middle Classes

Altercation Over Civil Society: The Bitter Cry of the Edwardian Middle Classes

Chapter:
(p.115) 6 Altercation Over Civil Society: The Bitter Cry of the Edwardian Middle Classes
Source:
Civil Society in British History
Author(s):

PHILIP WALLER

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.003.0007

Civil society is conventionally identified with the hegemony of a disinterested middle-class public, guaranteed to withstand the brigand rapacity of selfish parties, whether aristocrat or artisan, plutocrat or pauper, who are intent of feathering their nests at the expense of the common good. This chapter tests this presumption through a case study of the conceptions of civil rights and duties held by middling sorts of people when a perceived crisis compelled them to contemplate such things. They were the Edwardian England's Charlie Chaplins, petty folk who felt bullied by myriad forces: labour, capitalism, landlordism, and statism.

Keywords:   civil society, middle class, civil rights

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