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France before 1789The Unraveling of an Absolutist Regime$
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Jon Elster

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149813

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149813.001.0001

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The Psychology of the Main Social Groups

The Psychology of the Main Social Groups

Information and Beliefs

(p.102) Chapter Three The Psychology of the Main Social Groups
France before 1789

Jon Elster

Princeton University Press

This chapter refers to the beliefs of individuals that occupied various positions in the structures of the old regime. For histoire des mentalités, the chapter tries to determine popular beliefs, elite beliefs, and beliefs about beliefs in accordance with reasons given in the Madisonian caveats. It also analyzes the behavior of the main agents in the economic and political system, which includes the peasantry, local authorities, several urban groupings, the parlements, provincial estates, the royal administration, the royal court, and the king himself. It includes the top-down beliefs of the authorities about their subjects and the bottom-up beliefs of the subjects about the authorities. This chapter also describes beliefs of the members of any group in the social hierarchy about other members of the same group.

Keywords:   old regime, histoire des mentalités, Madisonian caveats, top-down beliefs, bottom-up beliefs, social hierarchy

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