Manufacturing Technology

A.A. Albert de la Bruhèze and R. Oldenziel (Eds.), Manufacturing Technology, Manufacturing Consumers. The making of Dutch Consumer Society. Amsterdam: Aksant, 2009 (ISBN 978-90-5260-297-4)

Mass consumption is never self-evident. Consumption develops in tandem with production and with new social and institutional arrangements. Manufacturing  Technology, Manufacturing Consumers considers the relation by focusing on the production and consumption of new technologies. It shows how twentieth-century technologies became socially embedded through the activities and interactions of a host of new institutions and organizations including state agencies, consumer and producer associations, corporate organizations, and research institutes. These institutional actors simultaneously imaged, represented, projected, negotiated, and produced new products, consumer practices, and ideas about the consumer. The room for negotiation these actors possessed in the mediated design of technology, its use, and its users depended on social institutions and their power relations. Manufacturing Technology, Manufacturing Consumers considers how state, civil society, and market relations configured that space differently according to historical circumstance. The book maps the making of Dutch consumer society as part and parcel of the variegated European consumer society through the mediated production and consumption of new technologies, i.e. houses, kitchens, cars, snacks, and radio and TV sets.

Adri Albert de la Bruhèze is assistant professor of History of Technology, and of Science, Technology and Society (STS) at the University of Twente, School of Management and Governance in The Netherlands.

Ruth Oldenziel is professor of History of Technology, in particular U.S.-Europe relations, at the Technical University Eindhoven, Faculty of Technology Management in The Netherlands.