In this book, Fox does an anthropological analysis by conducting experiments and uses participant observation to discover the unwritten rules that makes an English person English. She tries to explain the cultural norms of the English, which are seen as peculiar to people who aren't English.
Watching The English is a very funny, informative and explanatory book that explores the unwritten rules of Englishness to find out why the English behave the way they do. It is quite long and, at times, repetitive, but the smart/witty and funny writing style makes it a very enjoyable read overall.
Her aim is to discover what it is that characterizes the English, what are the unwritten rules that define their national character. In her searchings to discover that, she conducts experiments which include breaking the rules, such as jumping the queue for instance, to see how those around her will react. Usually, not that well. She explores every aspect of Englishness, from speaking about the weather to sports, from food to clothing, from pets to holidays, from their sense of humor to work rules, to anything else you can think of, while also covering gender and class differences.
According to Fox discoveries, the English are affected by a social disease which causes them to become either very reserved or loud and violent. Thus, English reservedness and English hooliganism are both sides of the same coin. Other aspects of Englishness are class consciousness (mixed with a sense of hypocrisy as they pretend not to care about such things), self-deprecating/ condemnatory humor (they use irony to cope with everything), general moderation, modesty, politeness, the tendency to moan and complain about absolutely everything and how they need rules and to function socially (ie how they are bad at greetings and don't really know how to introduce themselves...