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

Ronald R. Kline

Environmental Values 11(2002): 327-344. doi: 10.3197/096327102129341118

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.


KEYWORDS: U.S. Rural Electrification Administration, resistance to new technology


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