Who has decided how Europeans have dressed and dwelled? Traveled and dined? Worked and played? Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels challenges every idea you might have about who can be credited with the shaping of Europe.
Certainly, inventors, engineers, and politicians played their parts. But in the making of Europe, consumers, tinkerers, and rebels were an unrecognized force—until now. This book spotlights the people who “made” Europe—by appropriating technology, protesting for and against it. Using examples from Britain and the Continent, the authors illustrate the conflicts that accompanied the modern technologies, from the sewing machine to the bicycle, the Barbie doll to the personal computers. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of how Europeans have lived, from the 1850s to the current century, which the book depicts by means of no less than 75 unique illustrations from all parts of Europe.
In this episode...
Ruth Oldenziel unravels what a British chief banking clerk and a French chief justice had in common when they travelled first class through mid-nineteenth-century Europe. She explains what technology actually is, and shares with you how her personal demons influenced her research agenda.
Mikael Hård discusses why consumers, tinkerers and rebels are so relevant when discussing the making of Europe. He reflects on the train experience of a young Polish woman who wanted to start a new life in the Americas. And he takes you on the detour of food preservation to show how housewives circumventing certain usages of technologies had a decisive impact on the making of Europe.