'In countries so unciviliz'd as those?': the language of incivility and the British experience of the world

Alexander, M. and Struan, A. (2013) 'In countries so unciviliz'd as those?': the language of incivility and the British experience of the world. In: Farr, M. and Guégan, X. (eds.) The British Abroad Since the Eighteenth Century, Volume 2: Experiencing Imperialism. Series: Britain and the world. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, pp. 232-249. ISBN 9781137304179 (doi:10.1057/9781137304186_13)

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Abstract

’Civilisation’, wrote Arnold J. Toynbee in the 1950s, ‘is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbour.’1 In a similar vein, the ways in which peoples and nations have thought others to be civilised, or uncivilised, have altered and changed over time. This development is true particularly of the contact over the past 1,000 years between the British and those they thought to be, and deemed, ‘uncivilised’. The ways in which British writers represented and constructed these ‘uncivilised’ peoples in their factual narratives and explanations, and the extent to which those writers engaged with shifting and changing conceptions of such people, allow an insight into the reactions and attitudes of the British towards those they encountered through imperial expansions and travel abroad. This chapter therefore seeks to analyse the ways in which the English-speaking peoples have sought to conceptualise those deemed uncivil, through an investigation into the word choices which scholars now know were available to them at each stage in the evolution of the English language.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alexander, Professor Marc and Struan, Dr Andrew
Authors: Alexander, M., and Struan, A.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
P Language and Literature > PE English
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN:9781137304179
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Palgrave Macmillan
First Published:First published in The British Abroad Since the Eighteenth Century, Volume 2: Experiencing Imperialism: 232-249
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
512051Enhancing repositories for language and literature researchers (ENROLLER)Jean AndersonJoint Information Systems Committee (JISC)IRDEVREP/REPOSCRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE
573631The Language and the Sentiments of their Times: Teaching the Language of Historical TextAndrew PrescottHigher Education Academy - History (HEA-HIST)Dr Richardson 0HU - ARTS AND MEDIA INFORMATICS (HATII)

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