Consumption and leisure
in Civvies
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This chapter examines middle-class men's wartime consumer and leisure practices. It explores middle-class men's consumer practices and identities as a pre-war abundance of supply turned into a market characterised by prohibitively priced goods and limited availability. The chapter considers the extent to which middle-class consumers were affected by rising prices and shortages, particularly of food. It also examines the changes to consumer practices: both those adopted voluntarily, as a patriotic gesture, particularly in the early months of war, and those imposed by circumstances outside individuals' control. The chapter focuses on the impact of the conflict on leisure activities and shopping practices, questioning the extent to which either could justifiably be pursued in wartime. It assesses the responses to 'economy' appeals, shedding light on what these reveal about 'appropriate' consumer behaviour at a time of crisis.


Middle-class men on the English Home Front, 1914–18


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