Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
004 Selected Books by Faculty

06 Ronald R. Kline, Science and Technology Studies/Electrical and Computer Engineering

Consumers in the Country: Technology and Social Change in Rural America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000). The telephone, automobile, radio, and electric light and power were urbanizing technologies that transformed rural America from 1900-1960. According to Kline, this transformation was not the result of passive consumers whose lives were changed in a predictable manner. Kline investigates the interactions between those who promoted the technologies (manufacturers and government agencies) and the farm families (consumers). He concludes that farm people used the technology in innovative ways and created new forms of rural life and new forms of modernity.

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