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SophisticationA Literary and Cultural History$
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Faye Hammill

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312328

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316111

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Conclusion: ‘The problem of leisure’: millennial sophistication

Conclusion: ‘The problem of leisure’: millennial sophistication

(p.205) Conclusion: ‘The problem of leisure’: millennial sophistication
Liverpool University Press

This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the history of the term sophistication. It traces how sophistication developed from a derogatory term referring to falsification or adulteration to a term of praise suggesting distinction and discriminating taste, and discusses some of the cultural shifts underlying this change. It also argues that it was English playwright and actor Noël Coward who ‘took sophistication out of the refrigerator and set it bubbling on the hob’. This chapter also considers the meaning of sophistication in late twentieth– and twentieth–first–century culture.

Keywords:   sophistication, derogatory terms, cultural shifts, discriminating taste, Noël Coward

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