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By Andrew Holman

ISBN-10: 0773518991

ISBN-13: 9780773518995

Industrial switch, the growth of presidency in any respect degrees, and inhabitants progress all contributed to profound changes in Ontario's social constitution among the 1850s and the Eighteen Nineties. The altering atmosphere created new possibilities, new wealth, and new authority. In urbanizing Ontario, an identifiable and self-identified center category emerged among the idle wealthy and the perennial operating classification. utilizing the cities of Galt and Goderich as case stories, Andrew Holman exhibits how middle-class identities have been shaped at paintings. He exhibits how businessmen, pros, and white-collar staff constructed a brand new experience of authority that prolonged past the office. As neighborhood electors, contributors of voluntary institutions and reform societies, and breadwinners, middle-class males set criteria of right and anticipated habit for themselves and others, criteria for decent habit that endured to take pleasure in foreign money and relevance through the 20th century.

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A Sense of Their Duty: Middle-Class Formation in Victorian Ontario Towns

Business switch, the growth of presidency in any respect degrees, and inhabitants development all contributed to profound adjustments in Ontario's social constitution among the 1850s and the Nineties. The altering atmosphere created new possibilities, new wealth, and new authority. In urbanizing Ontario, an identifiable and self-identified center classification emerged among the idle wealthy and the perennial operating classification.

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In structure, "character," and collective identity and strategy, the business middle classes of Gait and Goderich took different forms, possessed different strengths, and played different roles in the formation of their respective local middle classes. Structurally, the business sectors of Gait and Goderich in these years could not have been more different. " Manufacturing was the most dynamic sector of the local economy throughout the late Victorian period, although the town also maintained its early position as a regional service and market centre to an agricultural hinterland.

Thousands of young men will follow anything that will fetch 25 c[en]ts rather than work ... to believe in the abominable lie that it is more dignified and honorable to pass through the world with gloved hands than to plod through the dust and mire of honest toil ... " In 1870, a respectable young Goderich lady's dismissal of a young man's romantic overtures with a glib "he's only a working man" occasioned another column by Cox. "Poor, misguided, silly girl! We would adjure our young friends, who desire to be respected and respectable men and women, to be afraid of nothing but vice and mea[n]ness; to embrace any department of honest labor within their reach.

Moreover, in defining social strata objectively, they subordinated class as a social category and the idea of consciousness to rather mechanistic indices of status based on occupational rank and economic standing. "[T]he study of social structure became the delineation of stratification rather than the explication of class," Michael Katz wrote in 1981. 19 Despite its narrowness, the clarity and neatness that an objective approach offers has commended it to some recent historians of the middle class.

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