Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Empire studies has largely overcome tendencies to view metropole and periphery as oppositional. Nevertheless, critics’ focus on sexual and racial forms of reciprocal cultural constitution has eclipsed analysis of how competing conceptions of social order interrogated each another at sites of cross-cultural exchange. What has chiefly escaped revision is the notion that the empire was based on an organic social model that remained fundamentally conservative despite cross-cultural contacts. In nineteenth-century Britain, organicism acquired elasticity as new forms of social mobility and inclusiveness pervaded domestic life. In the colonial context, these progressive conceptions of organicism were sometimes transformed by encounters with indigenous societies. The central argument of this essay is that nineteenth-century organic imperialism was increasingly liberalized, and was further modified by fictional representations of non-Western social order. It focuses on sea adventure fiction and two colonial novels: Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim (1899) and Rudyard Kipling’s Kim (1901).

Keywords: empire, colonial, fiction, organicism, class, hierarchy, sea adventure fiction, professionalism, individualism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.