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Urban and rural articulations of an early modern bourgeois civilizing process and its discontents

Author(s): Ulrich Ufer

Journal: Articulo : Journal of Urban Research
ISSN 1661-4941

Issue: HS3;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: urban | identity | rural | anthropological history | early modern | modernity | process of civilization | Netherlands | Amsterdam

Over the course of the so-called early modern period the civilizing process unfurled both at the individual level and within society as a whole. At its heart lies the idea that one form of individual habitus or social organization in a larger sense claims to have ascended above previous stages of linear development. This paradigm of modernity emerged in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century and was intimately tied to the social dynamics of Dutch early modern urbanization and to concomitant transformations in the countryside. Urban and rural forms of social organization increasingly grew apart and this allowed attributing to urban and rural areas as well as to their respective inhabitants the very characteristics that associated the former more closely and the latter more remotely with the benefits of civilization and progress. This study in anthropological history assesses such early modern social dynamics between the urban and the rural by employing a model of civilized urban identity space, defined by four oppositional ideal types – the Burger, the Boer, the Pronckert and the Hovenier
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