Making a Social Body
British Cultural Formation, 1830-1864
By (author) Mary Poovey
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Making a Social Body by Mary Poovey
Book DescriptionThis study examines one of the conditions that made the development of a mass culture in Victorian Britain possible: the representation of the population as an aggregate - a social body. Drawing on both literature and social reform texts, the author analyzes the organization of knowledge during this period and explores its role in the emergence of the idea of the social body. The text illuminates the ways literary genres, such as the novel, and innovations in social thought, such as statistical thinking and anatomical realism, helped separate social concerns from the political and economic domains. The author then discusses the influence of the social body concept on Victorian ideas about the role of the state, examining writings by James Phillips Kay, Thomas Chalmers and Edwin Chadwick on regulating the poor. Analyzing the conflict between Kay's idea of the social body and Babbage's image of the social machine, she considers the implications of both models for the place of Victorian women. Poovey's readings of Disraeli's "Coningsby", Gaskell's "Mary Barton", and Dickens's "Our Mutual Friend" show that the novel as a genre exposed the role gender played in contemporary discussions of poverty and wealth. The study argues that gender, race and class should be considered in the context of broader concerns such as how social authority is distributed, how institutions formalize knowledge and how truth is defined.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226675244
(227mm x 150mm x 18mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 9-Nov-1995
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mary Poovey
Genres of the Credit Economy, Paperback (April 2008)
How did banking, borrowing, investing, and even losing money - in other words, participating in the modern financial system - come to seem like routine activities of everyday life? This title addresses this question by examining the history of financial instruments and representations of finance in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain.
Financial System in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Paperback (December 2002)
'The Financial System in Nineteenth-Century Britain' provides an introduction to: currency and credit instruments; the national debt and the stock exchange; banks and banking; and the money market, company law and financial fraud. It is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as scholars working in the field.
History of the Modern Fact, Paperback (November 1998)
Showing the epistemological conditions that have made modern, social and economic knowledge possible, this text explores questions such as, "how did fact become modernity's most favoured unit of knowledge?".
Cassandra and Suggestions for Thought by Florence Nightingale, Hardback (December 1991)» View all books by Mary Poovey
Florence Nightingale is famous as the heroine of the Crimean War and later as a campaigner for medical care founded on a clean environment and good nursing. Suggestions for Thought, which contains the novel Cassandra, is a central text in nineteenth-century history of feminist thought.
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