Chapter

Baskets of Goods: Customers and Shopping Practices

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577927.003.0009
Baskets of Goods: Customers and Shopping Practices

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This chapter examines in detail the changing patterns and practices of shopping for groceries, highlighting three related areas which link into the broader literature on shopping. It starts by exploring the social and gender characteristics of those buying new and more traditional groceries. Whilst there were typical baskets of goods purchased by men and women, few conformed to these gender norms, consumption bundles being broad and inclusive. The chapter builds on this to argue that the practices of even poor consumers suggests that shopping for groceries was an everyday activity by the late eighteenth century and that many people were able to spread their custom and effectively ‘shop around’. It is less certain that shoppers engaged in the sort of polite consumption practices modelled by Berry, but they undoubtedly enjoyed the sociability of shopping and the shop.

Keywords: consumption bundles; gendered consumption; sociability; browsing; polite consumption; utility

Chapter.  12452 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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