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Resisting Development, Reinventing Modernity: Rural Electrification in the United States before World War II


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  • Ronald R. Kline
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    The essay examines local resistance to the New Deal rural electrification program in the United States before World War II as a crucial aspect of socio-technical change. Large numbers of farm men and women opposed the introduction of the new technology, did not purchase a full complement of electrical appliances, and did not use electric lights and appliances in the manner prescribed by the goverment modernisers (the Rural Electrification Administration) and manufacturers. These acts of 'transformative resistance' helped to shape artefacts and social practices.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 327-344

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    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev11:ev1117

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    Keywords: U.S. Rural Electrification Administration; resistance to new technology;

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    Cited by:
    1. Independent Evaluation Group, 2008. "The Welfare Impact of Rural Electrification : A Reassessment of the Costs and Benefits," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6519, August.


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