Abstract

In this article, we explore how reformers, manufacturers, and traders perceived British food consumers and the significance of those perceptions in debates about food quality and regulation. By considering basic commodities, our analysis extends a literature on consumption that is otherwise derived primarily from the study of luxury commodities, and it identifies conflicting images of the interests, competence, and concerns of early twentieth-century consumers. We find that discussions of appropriate policy involved competing interpretations of modernity and its implications for food consumers, and these discussions anticipated later twentieth-century debates.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1467-2235
Print ISSN
1467-2227
Pages
pp. 442-470
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-21
Open Access
No
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