Work, Consumption and Subjectivity in Postwar France: Moulinex and the Meanings of Domestic Appliances 1950s-1970s.
Journal of Contemporary History, 47, (4)
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This article responds to some of the limitations of the historiography of consumption in contemporary Europe, notably its tendency to divorce consumer culture from production and to subscribe, in some cases at least, to a rather schematic model of ‘consumer society’. Focusing on the Moulinex domestic appliance company which developed in Normandy from the late 1950s, it explores the interpenetration of cultures of production and cultures of production at several levels. It considers the role of Moulinex in making domestic appliances available to the mass market, the place of productivism in the Moulinex brand and the place of appliance consumption in company culture, before reflecting on the workers’ perspective on this culture and the meanings they ascribed to the appliances they acquired through the company.
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