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Popular Culture and Working-Class Taste in Britain, 1930-39A Round of Cheap Diversions?$
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Robert James

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719080258

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719080258.001.0001

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Trade attitudes towards audience taste

Trade attitudes towards audience taste

(p.57) 3 Trade attitudes towards audience taste
Popular Culture and Working-Class Taste in Britain, 1930-39

Robert James

Manchester University Press

This chapter looks at trade attitudes towards working-class taste in 1930s Britain regarding the restrictions placed upon the working class by various government bodies. The educational role of film, its use for propaganda purposes and the need for fuller control of the industry's output are referred to on a regular basis. The types of product that attracted the ‘mass’ consumer were habitually disparaged in the publishing and cinema industries' primary trade papers, Publishers' Circular and Kinematograph Weekly respectively. Time and again, members of the publishing trade were reproved if they displayed a too-liberal attitude towards reading's social and cultural role. The cinema industry was less conservative, and, therefore, more responsive to popular taste and consumer pleasure, but the improvement ethos nonetheless existed. However, the fact that popular texts continued to be produced is evidence that many trade personnel were not as naïve as to bow to the pressure put upon them by their trade representatives.

Keywords:   trade attitudes, publishing, cinema industry, trade papers, liberal attitude

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