Domestic Technologies

Domestic technologies encompass a vast array of tools, devices, and machines that are commonly used within the home. Such technologies are often categorized under headings including domestic appliances (e.g., vacuum cleaners and food processors), white goods (e.g., washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators), brown goods (e.g., ovens and microwaves), and entertainment items (e.g., televisions, DVD players, VCRs, PCs, and laptops) but are often used for multiple purposes—and are increasingly integrated into what has been referred to as the “SMART” home. Domestic technologies are both practically and symbolically significant to the emergence of consumer culture—practical in the sense of shifting patterns of time use to facilitate the growth of leisure, and symbolic of the household as a critical unit of consumption.

In the social sciences, there has been ...

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