Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class (Morality and Society Series) 1st Edition
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Paperback : 350 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0226468178
- ISBN-13 : 978-0226468174
- Product Dimensions : 8.92 x 6.44 x 0.86 inches
- Publisher : University of Chicago Press; 1st Edition (October 3, 1994)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #430,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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She divides the research into 3 themes: elite men divide who they think are good and who they think are bad based upon money, morality, and mannerisms/culture. She looks at the macro level showing how one nation may use more of one or two of the three traits than the other country. She also gets specific by show how the ideas mean different things to individuals. For example, American men like men who know many concrete facts whereas French men like men who are witty and have good grammar. Lamont does a great job in quantify and classifying ideas that most people would think are nebulous and intangible.
This is men's studies by default. Those who uphold "race, class, and gender" rhetoric may be disappointed. She excludes people of color saying few of them fit this elite category. She supposedly compares these men to a small group of women, but the women were only brought up once in the book. When Lamont speaks of the "elite" she is talking about education rather than income. Some of the careers mentioned here (teacher, reverend, bank employee, etc.) do not sound that unique or rare to me. Lamont explores race in her next book. Fans of men's studies and white studies may find this work helpful in formulating theory.
Unfortunately, this comparative work will do little to encourage multinational tolerance. I think Lamont makes French men sound somewhat weird. Many think nothing of cheating on their wives. How is that honest and helpful to a relationship? One French interviewee said he does not care if his employees are competent, so long as they are working on improving their lives. Hello? Sometimes competency is necessary. Is that why part of Paris' airport collapsed recently and 4 people were killed? Because being witty and quoting Rousseau means more than being an expert in your technical field?!
Chapter five is a summary chapter which might as well have been an introduction instead. Students with little time to read this book before class can just read that chapter. Though Lamont rightfully compares the big city to the boondocks, those differences didn't really play out. Since they were neither here nor there, they might as well have been excluded. I am impressed how she got so much information on such esoteric matter from each man in just approximately two hours.
I liked Lamont's second book better. This was took forever to read unlike her more recent book. That book brought up schisms that materially affect nations whereas, truth be told, the Americans and the French are never going to come to blows about anything. Still, this shows she's a deep thinker and that she continues to improve as a scholar.