Cultures of Control

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Miriam R. Levin
Psychology Press, 2000 - Science - 274 pages
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This collection of essays explores the history of control by looking at a variety of cultural forms, practices, and beliefs. These ideas are examined critically, not only in the light of the possibilities which control technologies seem to offer for resolving human problems, but also the contradictory moral, political, and economic consequences they have had. The discussion takes into account the important modes in which humans have cast their organizational efforts: political, social, sychological, economic, and legal. It also takes a longue durée view of the history of control, looking back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and establishes the continuities in the twentieth century as a transatlantic phenomenon.
  

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Contents

Contexts of Control
13
Nature Out of Control Cultural Origins and Environmental Implications of Large Technological Systems
41
Measuring Cloth by the Elbow and a Thumb Resistance to Numbers in France of the 1780s
69
The Meaning of Cleaning Producing Harmony and Hygiene in the Home
81
How the Motor Car Conquered the Road
113
Culture Technology and Constructed Memory in Disneys New Town Technonostalgia in Historical Perspective
135
Managing Machines
151
How to Make Chance Manageable Statistical Thinking and Cognitive Devices in Manufacturing Control
153
Ideology Counts Controlling the Bodies of Concentration Camp Prisoners
177
Beasts and Systems Taming and Stability in the History of Control
205
Liquifying Information Controlling the Flood in the Cold War and Beyond
225
Striving for Optimal Control Soviet Cybernetics as a Science of Government
247
Index
265
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About the author (2000)

Miriam R. Levin is Professor of History and Art History at Case Western Reserve University.

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