Household Appliances and the Use of Time<sup>1</sup>

Avner Offer

in The Challenge of Affluence

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696015 | DOI:

Series: The Challenge of Affluence

Household Appliances and the Use of Time1

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This chapter examines household appliances and the use of time. During the post-war years, household appliances were the magic boxes of affluence. Appliances like radio and television, which provided sensual arousal, diffused very rapidly almost regardless of income and almost as fast in the USA as in Britain. Those that merely lightened the effort of housework diffused at a rate that tracked the growth and levels of income in the two countries. They did not shorten domestic working hours until the introduction of television made compelling inroads into domestic time. However, sensual arousal was eroded by exposure. Television viewing expanded up to the point where it gave little more satisfaction than housework.

Keywords: appliances; time; housework; technology; USA; Britain; television

Chapter.  9449 words.  Illustrated.

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