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date: 04 April 2020

Etiquette and Manners. 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to United States History
Author(s):
C. Dallett HemphillC. Dallett Hemphill

Although they might seem trivial, manners have played an important role in American history.As anthropologists and sociologists have recognized, the rule-governed behaviors that people perform before each other communicate essential information. Whether through rules of precedence, customs of salutation, or norms for body carriage and facial expression, they enact power relations in face-to-face encounters, help people play their social roles, and communicate status. Americans have always been concerned with proper behavior, in part because these rituals maintain a social order often at odds with professed ideals. But the nature of this need for manners has changed over time. Indeed, changes in manners record the swings of America's waltz with ... ...

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