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Article: Etiquette


Historical Perspective

  • King Louis XIV used etiquette to manage and control his courtiers at the Palace of Versailles.
  • The Ancient Egyptian vizier Ptahhotep wrote The Maxims of Ptahhotep, a book on civil virtues.
  • Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality in his works.
  • Baldassare Castiglione wrote The Book of the Courtier, a guide on courtly etiquette during the Italian Renaissance.
  • The term 'etiquette' was first used by the 4th Earl of Chesterfield in the 18th century.
  • The adoption of etiquette was a self-conscious process for acquiring the conventions of politeness.
  • Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, defined politeness as the art of being pleasing in company.
  • Periodicals like The Spectator advised readers on the etiquette required of a gentleman.
  • Gentlemen's clubs published in-house etiquette guides to codify expected civility.
  • Manners proliferated during the Renaissance in response to the development of the absolute state.
  • The rituals and manners associated with the royal court of England during that period were closely bound to a person's social status.
  • Manners demonstrate a person's position within a social network.
  • Manners are a means of negotiation from that social position.
  • Manners were vital for controlling the outward self and signifying social standing.
  • The concept of etiquette has existed since ancient times and has evolved over centuries.
  • The 16th-century courtesy book The Book of the Courtier influenced European society.
  • Etiquette books like The Ladies Book of Etiquette (1860) and Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette (1957) presented ranges of civility for their respective times.
  • The Courtier (1528) and On Civility in Children (1530) were influential etiquette texts.
  • The How Rude! comic-book series addressed adolescent perspectives on etiquette and civility.

Sociological Perspectives

  • Manners are a means for people to display their social status.
  • Manners help maintain the boundaries of social identity and social class.
  • Norbert Elias argued that manners arose as a product of group living.
  • Manners persist as a way of maintaining social order.
  • Manners are informally enforced through self-regulation.

Anthropological Perspectives

  • Manners, social behaviors, and group rituals maintain the ordered integrity of a culture.
  • Ideas of pollution and defilement are attached to unacceptable behavior to maintain cultural assumptions.
  • Manners curtail unacceptable behavior and control experience within the culture.
  • Manners enable the local cosmology to remain ordered and free from pollution or defilement.
  • Manners play a crucial role in preserving cultural norms and maintaining social order.

Evolutionary Perspectives

  • Facial expressions of disgust and shame are universal and innate behaviors.
  • Manners have an evolutionary role in preventing the transmission of diseases.
  • Personal hygiene and politeness benefit individuals in their social group and increase chances of biological survival.
  • Human behavioral responses to otherness preserve manners and social norms.
  • The feeling of foreignness serves an evolutionary function by attuning individuals to others' features and behaviors.

Business Etiquette

  • Business etiquette varies by culture, such as the Chinese and Australian approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Adjusting to the etiquette and professional ethics of another culture is an element of culture shock for businesspeople.
  • The Institute of Image Training and Testing International (IITTI) was formed to train personnel departments in measuring and developing social skills for conducting business with people from other cultures.
  • The saying 'the customer is always right' summarizes the profit-orientation of good manners in the retail branch of commerce.
  • Salesmen and women are usually patient and polite, fostering mutual goodwill and friendliness with customers.

Etiquette Data Sources

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