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Kathryn Falla

MA work

The utilisation of electromagnetic radiation has had a profound impact on the formation of the modern world. The domestication of the technologies associated with electromagnetic radiation in post-war Britain reflected the wider concerns of the period. Specifically, the sense of optimism induced by the belief that technology could help to achieve a reconstructed and improved society combined with the fears provoked by new technology, particularly that of radiation in the climate of the Cold War.

The television and the microwave oven were two important uses of electromagnetic radiation that came to fruition in the post-war years. By considering the adoption of television and the lack of acceptance of the microwave oven by domestic consumers in the 1950s and 1960s, I aim to reveal the relationship between technology and society in this period. This dissertation primarily concerns the use of electromagnetic radiation within the home but the connections between domestic consumers and these new technologies were mediated by outside experts. The expert was a significant part of the governance associated with the development of the welfare state. The interaction of the expert and the consumer determined the extent to which these technologies were accepted as well as the manner in which they were used. The reaction to domestic uses of electromagnetic radiation revealed the desires and anxieties of a society in a state of flux.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2009

  • The utilisation of electromagnetic radiation has had a profound impact on the formation of the modern world. The domestication of the technologies associated with electromagnetic radiation in post-war Britain reflected the wider concerns of the period. Specifically, the sense of optimism induced by the belief that technology could help to achieve a reconstructed and improved society combined with the fears provoked by new technology, particularly that of radiation in the climate of the Cold War.

    The television and the microwave oven were two important uses of electromagnetic radiation that came to fruition in the post-war years. By considering the adoption of television and the lack of acceptance of the microwave oven by domestic consumers in the 1950s and 1960s, I aim to reveal the relationship between technology and society in this period. This dissertation primarily concerns the use of electromagnetic radiation within the home but the connections between domestic consumers and these new technologies were mediated by outside experts. The expert was a significant part of the governance associated with the development of the welfare state. The interaction of the expert and the consumer determined the extent to which these technologies were accepted as well as the manner in which they were used. The reaction to domestic uses of electromagnetic radiation revealed the desires and anxieties of a society in a state of flux.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) History of Art, University of Bristol, 2007
  • Experience

  • Voluntary Researcher, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2006-7