Sophisticates or dupes? Attitudes toward food consumers in Edwardian Britain

French, M. and Phillips, J. (2003) Sophisticates or dupes? Attitudes toward food consumers in Edwardian Britain. Enterprise and Society, 4(3), pp. 442-470. (doi: 10.1093/es/khg022)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


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.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Phillips, Professor Jim and French, Professor Michael
Authors: French, M., and Phillips, J.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Enterprise and Society
Publisher:Oxford University Press

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record