A Particular Condition in Life

A Particular Condition in Life

Self-employment and Social Mobility in Mid-Victorian Brantford, Ontario

eBook - 1994
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McGill Queens Univ Pr
David Burley offers a new perspective on industrial capitalism and class formation in Canada by focusing on the rise of the bourgeoisie rather than the rise of the working class. Using the town of Brantford, Ontario, as his model, Burley examines how industrialization brought about a decline in self-employment (the measure of a man's success according to Victorian values) and a restructuring of traditional concepts of wealth, credit and debt, and success and failure.

Using extensive quantitative data, Burley provides a cultural analysis of the business community during the mid-nineteenth century. Because self-employment was so pervasive in Brantford, the impact of industrialization was particularly striking. Self-employed businessmen were forced to try to locate themselves in an emerging class system which often contradicted traditional Victorian social ideals of independence and manliness. Burley's exploration of the tensions behind these conflicting values - tensions both between myth and reality and within the bourgeois world view itself - is an important addition to the literature on business behaviour and Victorian cultural history. A Particular Condition in Life will be of interest to social, urban, and labour historians, sociologists, and those interested in the history of Ontario.


Book News
Burley offers a new perspective on industrial capitalism and class formation in Canada by focusing on the rise of the bourgeoisie rather than the rise of the working class. Using the town of Brantford, Ontario as his model, Burley examines how industrialization brought about a decline in self-employment and a restructuring of traditional concepts of wealth, credit and debt, and success and failure. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Publisher: Kingston ; Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1994
ISBN: 0773511997
Characteristics: xii, 309 p
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)

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