hWatching the English : Summary. 1) Introduction :
Kate Fox is an anthropologist (somebody who is used to study people’ behaviour in the society). She decided to be her own guinea pig to study people’ behaviour and where the English traditions come from. 2) The “grammar” of Englishness:
She had spent some researches for 12years about the different aspects of English culture and social behaviour in various places (pubs, streets...). In this book, she’s trying to give a definition of Englishness because she thinks that English behaviour is set by rules. This behaviour can’t be noticed by English people. These rules define their national identity and they obey instinctively to the unwritten rules (e.g.: you have to adapt your clothes to the circumstances. You can’t come in pyjama at school). 3) Participant observation and its discontents:
Participant observation means participating the life and culture of the people to understand their behaviour. You have to be as so involved as possible in people’ life but understanding your own culture has some difficulties: there are unconscious prejudices. So, finding the right distance between involvement and detachment seems the best method to explore the culture (if you are too involved, you can’t explore it).
Other cultures were studied by her colleagues and she preferred to study her own culture. First, she went to gloomy places such as violent pubs and did researches about violence, aggression, crime... Then, she wanted to study the causes of “good behaviour “. She spent time in nice places to study it (celebrations, holidays, sex, flirting...). Like this, she got a view of English social life in every kind of places.
Her father wanted her to be an anthropologist and so, she had been training since she was a baby (she was considered as an experiment). She also studied her family’s behaviour. 4) Trust me,