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Civil Society in British HistoryIdeas, Identities, Institutions$
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Jose Harris

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.001.0001

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Civil Society in Nineteenth-century Britain and Germany: J. M. Ludlow, Lujo Brentano, and the Labour Question

Civil Society in Nineteenth-century Britain and Germany: J. M. Ludlow, Lujo Brentano, and the Labour Question

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Civil Society in Nineteenth-century Britain and Germany: J. M. Ludlow, Lujo Brentano, and the Labour Question
Source:
Civil Society in British History
Author(s):

LAWRENCE GOLDMAN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260201.003.0006

This chapter considers two ways in which the term ‘civil society’ is used. The first, largely confined to academic discourse, denotes a distinct sphere of social relations in all societies. Civil society is understood as a web of relationships, institutions, and organizations generated in some way or another by all communities. The second use of ‘civil society’ is largely identified with voluntary, community, and private organizations and with a consequent project to re-establish certain sanctioned types of social interaction and association. When recent commentators have referred to Britain as a classic example of a historic civil society, it is very often the Victorian culture of voluntary association, and progressive integration of previously excluded classes. The chapter focuses on the test-case of such integration: the relatively smooth passage of the institutions of the working class into civil society in Britain during the third quarter of the 19th century.

Keywords:   civil society, Britain, Germany, social interaction, working class, voluntary association

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