- What do you believe to be the three most important facts about 19th century Norway?
- Why do you think the concept of respectability became more important as the middle class expanded?
I think that the most important facts of 19th century Norway include the expansion of the upper-middle class which shows the expansion of the population that lives to abide by these rules. More people are working their way up only to be held to that high standard by the rest of the higher classes. In this, we realize that it becomes easier for them to lose the status as well since they’re, in a way, competing. The second fact is that not only did the economic boom help the country money-wise, but the idea of money became detrimental to society’s structure. You can see the focus on money and materialism in today’s society, and so imagine the beginning of this greed and hunger for money that started in a split second historywise. The third is to keep in mind the two whilst realizing the expectation of moulding into the patriarchal model of what a woman should be. Following the patriarchy was not only a social tradition and a way of being in 19th century Norway; there are also laws that back up this ideology and weaken the presence of the feminine in comparison to the masculine.
The concept of respectability became more important as the middle class expanded because people strive to climb up the social ladder naturally and, in this form, strive to mimic aristocracy. The social climate only affected the few people in the middle class before its expansion, and as it grows, the limit between upper and lower middle class seem to blur. People want to be perceived as the better half of the middle class and want to seem more respectable and, ultimately, rich. Being money-centric led people to view class as a general form of social standing.
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