Domestic Technologies and the Modern Home

L. Spigel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This article explores the history of electrical technologies for the home. It focuses on their symbolic dimensions in product design, marketing, and advertising, looking at how labour-saving and media technologies for the home have been promoted in relation to social ideals of modernity, progress, gender, and social life since the late nineteenth century. It also explores cultural anxieties and uses of domestic machines through to the present. Finally, the article focuses on the US context, where home technologies were first widely adapted in the early twentieth century, and it traces this through to the global digital home technologies of today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780080471716
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Conspicuous production
  • Home of tomorrow
  • Housewife
  • Labour
  • Labour-saving appliance
  • Leisure
  • Liberation
  • Media
  • Mobile privitisation
  • Modernity
  • Nostalgia
  • Progress
  • Smart home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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