From rugs to riches: housework, consumption and modernity in Germany
How do technological and cultural developments interact to affect consumption? What do ways of using household goods in specific historical contexts tell us about individual and collective identities? Do changes in consumption patterns emancipate social groups or reinforce existing structures of power? The 'economic miracle' experienced by West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s had profound effects on everyday life and gender relations. This book reflects the growing need for historical research on leisure and consumption in the modern period and provides a very entertaining and carefully researched study of ideas about women, men, housework, consumption, and modernity. It contrasts the virtual reality presented by advertisements with the important qualitative changes in household appliancesand how they affected everyday life and gender roles. New products claimed to make housework easier, but the idea of substituting money for labor contrasted with the ideal of the thrifty, hard-working housewife and a clear division of gender roles. The author examines a broad range of issues encompassing the transformation of household appliances from luxuries to necessities, the threat of consumer debt, men and housework, women and technology, and labor and leisure in the modern household. This timely book represents a significant contribution to the following areas: material culture, German history, women's history, sociology, media/cultural studies and anthropology.
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Modernity Gender and the Home 19201950
The Wirtschaftswunder in the Home
Men Women and Machines
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Abitur advertisements for household American women Badische Zeitung Berlin Bosch Brigitte Bundestag buying cent cleaning Constanze Constructa consumer consumption cooking December depicted deutschen Deutschland dishes dishwashing earn economic electric emphasized equal rights especially female Figure flat Frankfurt am Main Frauen Freiburg Freundin furniture gender roles Hausfrau Haushalt household appliances household products housekeeping housewife housewife's housewives housework husband income increased interview by author issue kitchen labour laundry less Ludwig Erhard machine major appliances male marriage married women modern mother National Socialist number of women political popular portrayed postwar purchase Ratgeber April Ratgeber July Ratgeber March Ratgeber October readers recipes refrigerator saving Schulze Sibylle Meyer social Spiegel standard of living Stimme der Frau stove suggested television vacuum cleaner washing washing-machine Weimar Weimar Republic West German wife wife's Wildt Wirtschaftswunder wives woman women's magazines workers World young