Fox, Kate "Watching the English: the hidden rules of English behaviour" - 2004
An anthropology about a nation dear to my heart - the English. This book is quite funny at times and I am sure all the English people will love it and just nod their heads all the time - well, most of the others will do the same. And I did it, too, at least most of the time. However, I think the author's conclusions are a little too negative. I never experienced the English not talking to strangers. When I moved to England, I met such a lovely set of people and made many, many friends. I still have, after eleven years in the Netherlands, more friends back in the UK than over here. So, maybe I see the English through too rose-tinted glasses, but that's the way I experienced them.
From the back cover:
"In WATCHING THE ENGLISH anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour. The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more ...Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments (using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness."