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p. 814. Vienna and Berlin

sociocultural decadencelocked

  • David Weir


Sociocultural integration occurred first in fin-de-siècle Vienna, where decadence underwent a “bourgeoisification” and where the taste for decadence, no longer limited to aristocrats or elites, found a middle-class audience, even as artists and writers actively sought out that audience rather than working to “shock” it. The sociocultural decadence of Vienna prior to World War I is exceeded after the war only by that of Weimar Berlin, where decadence became, almost, a mass movement, as Berliners of all social strata eagerly participated in forms of social behavior that challenged bourgeois norms and traditions. The rise of the Nazi regime forced a major reconsideration of the meaning of decadence.

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