In his stimulating study, Jesus Cruz examines middle-class lifestyles—generally known as bourgeois culture—in nineteenth-century Spain. Cruz argues that the middle class ultimately contributed to Spain’s democratic stability and economic prosperity in the last decades of the twentieth century.
Interdisciplinary in scope, Cruz’s work draws upon the methodology of various areas of study—including material culture, consumer studies, and social history—to investigate class. In recent years, scholars in the field of Spanish studies have analyzed disparate elements of modern middle-class milieu, such as leisure and sociability, but Cruz looks at these elements as part of the whole. He traces the contribution of nineteenth-century bourgeois cultures not only to Spanish modernity but to the history of Western modernity more broadly.
The Rise of Middle-Class Culture in Nineteenth-Century Spain provides key insights for scholars in the fields of Spanish and European studies, including history, literary studies, art history, historical sociology, and political science.