Buy Used
$4.83
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Seattlegoodwill
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: May have some shelf wear. This item is only available for purchase online and is not available in the Goodwill store. This item is being offered by Goodwill, a non-profit organization. All funds raised are used to support the Goodwill which provides quality, effective employment training and basic education to individuals experiencing significant barriers to economic opportunity. Because Jobs Change Lives. Proceeds from the sale of these goods and financial donations from the community make it possible for us to operate our free job training programs. Your donations and purchases help support these important programs and make the community a better place for all of us.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour Paperback – April 2, 2008


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, April 2, 2008
$27.07 $4.83
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey America (April 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885088
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In an insightful and engrossing book, Fox explains the puzzling behavior of her fellow Englishmen in an informal way that puts other social anthropologists to shame. While she uses some academic lingo, Watching the English is far from being a dry read or a clinical observation of a certain group of people... Despite being more than 400 pages long, Watching the English reads easily, but is still jam-packed with information and tidbits about the English, and non-English readers are bound to at least once exclaim, 'What?! The English really do that?' (Camille Tuutti-Winkler, Examiner.com)

About the Author

Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, is Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford and a Fellow od the Institute for Cultural Research. The author or co-author of four previous books, Fox's work centers on intriguing aspects of human behaviour including pub culture, gossip, flirting, horseracing, mobile phones, email, stress, drugs, crime, violence and social taboos. She lives in London.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very good read and very funny.
Robert Davis
And so, that brings us to Kate Fox and her book "Watching the English."
David Field
One of the best entomology book I ever read.
Andrei Mironov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Really, I don't see why anthropologists feel they have to travel to remote corners of the world and get dysentery and malaria in order to study strange tribal cultures with bizarre beliefs and mysterious customs, when the weirdest, most puzzling tribe of all is right here on our doorstep." - Kate Fox

WATCHING THE ENGLISH, by social anthropologist Kate Fox, is an engaging, perceptive, informative, and entertaining treatise on English (as opposed to "British") behavior in all aspects of life. At times, the author's style seems tongue-in-cheek. However, as she herself is English, this is simply a manifestation of her tribe's trait not to be seen as being too earnest and, while the subject is to be taken seriously, not too seriously.

In what must have been a prodigious research effort (yielding 416 pages of small type), Fox characterizes English behavior and attitudes as they relate to weather, social small talk, humor, linguistics, pubs, mobile phones, home, queues, transportation, work, play, dress, food, sex, secondary education, marriage, funerals, religion, and recurring "calendrical rites" (e.g. birthdays and holidays). Within these categories, Kate addresses everything from the pets and jam to the furniture that the English favor. And, since class consciousness is irrevocably embedded in the national social fabric, all is explained relative to the various classes: lower- and upper-working, lower-, middle- and upper-middle, and upper. As an example, when it comes to one's automobile:

"A scrupulously tidy car indicates an upper-working to middle-middle owner, while a lot of rubbish, apple cores, biscuit crumbs, crumpled bits of paper and general disorder suggests an owner from either the top or the bottom of the social hierarchy.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful By T. Edwards on November 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm English, and having just devoured this book in a day or two I have to say that it is extremely accurate! It made me laugh out loud on the train while reading, which as you'll see from this book is an unusual occurrence for someone from my country...

This book describes the amazingly complex and intuitive set of rules by which we English live. It covers our obsessions with privacy, understatement, humour, anti-boastfulness, excessive politeness and all the other motives and societal rules behind the way we act.

Non-English readers will cry "What?! Is that really true? Do the English really think and act like that?!" - and I can assure you that we absolutely do...

An enlightening, funny, thorough and brilliant portrait of the English.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
126 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I started this book 3 days after returning from my first trip to America. Whilst in America I became aware of the huge cultural difference between the friendly people of the USA and traditional Brits amongst whom I've lived almost my whole life - I found much of American behaviour inexplicable and rather rude and personal towards someone they didn't know. I breathed a sigh of relief when returning to England, back amongst normal people who aren't continually nosy and telling you what they think about politics, religion and anything else the whole time.

I wish I'd read this book before I went. Not that I wouldn't have found a lot of American behaviour strange after reading it (I would still have done) but I would have been more aware of my cultural disabilities and how weird I must seem to them.

That's the power of this book - you can dip into almost any page, read a paragraph and say "that's me!" Kate Fox has studied the English for 10 years with remarkable acuity and she is able to identify behaviours that, to us, are entirely normal but are actually just part of our collective odd English behaviour patterns. When a man I had just been introduced to in America said "So, tell me all about yourself" I was left gaping at him in horror; `Watching The English' describes how people in the UK never share personal information unless they know someone particularly well - and in fact most people don't even introduce themselves to start with - my horror was expected and justified as I had never before been called upon to `blow my own trumpet' and it is completely counter to British reserve and our self-effacing nature.
Read more ›
13 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Forza on June 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
As an American social scientist who has an English partner and has visited the UK multiple times, I found this book engrossing for many reasons. Kate Fox does the miraculous: she makes fascinating reading out of chapters on tea, queue-jumping, arrangements of knick-knacks, incessant talking about the weather, and myriad other English characteristics that so charm, frustrate, and baffle we non-English of the world. Moreover, her writing is hilarious - she has a droll, tongue-in-cheek, utterly English sense of humor that had me laughing through every chapter.

The book is incredibly useful, too. I read it after my English partner recommended it to me, saying he had never read anything that captured the English so well. The insights in the book clarified several things to me and greatly reduced the quantity of cultural faux pas on my part. It also gave my partner a great deal of insight into his own personality as well as his interactions with Americans. Plus, it led to many, many fascinating discussions between us about (among other things) the markers of class and attitudes about it, the nature (and point) of politeness, and how it is that societies can make us who we are.

The only shortcoming of the book is that I still don't understand Vegemite, but I think that may just be beyond comprehension.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews