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Hedonizing Technologies

Paths to Pleasure in Hobbies and Leisure

Rachel P. Maines

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Rachel P. Maines’s latest work examines the rise of hobbies and leisure activities in Western culture from antiquity to the present day. As technologies are "hedonized," consumers find increasing pleasure in the hobbies’ associated tools, methods, and instructional literature.

Work once essential to survival and comfort—gardening, hunting, cooking, needlework, home mechanics, and brewing—have gradually evolved into hobbies and recreational activities. As a result, the technologies associated with these pursuits have become less efficient but more appealing to the new class of leisure artisans.…

Rachel P. Maines’s latest work examines the rise of hobbies and leisure activities in Western culture from antiquity to the present day. As technologies are "hedonized," consumers find increasing pleasure in the hobbies’ associated tools, methods, and instructional literature.

Work once essential to survival and comfort—gardening, hunting, cooking, needlework, home mechanics, and brewing—have gradually evolved into hobbies and recreational activities. As a result, the technologies associated with these pursuits have become less efficient but more appealing to the new class of leisure artisans.

Maines interprets the growth and economic significance of hobbies in terms of broad consumer demand for the technologies associated with them. Hedonizing Technologies uses bibliometric and retail census data to show the growth in world markets for hobby craft tools, books, periodicals, and materials from the late 18th century to today. The book addresses basic issues in the history of labor and industry and makes an original contribution to the discussion of how technology and people interact.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
224
ISBN
9780801891465
Illustration Description
21 halftones, 10 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. What Is a Hedonizing Technology?
2. Leisure and Necessity
3. Hedonization and Industrialization: Diverging Paths in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
4. The Hedonizing

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. What Is a Hedonizing Technology?
2. Leisure and Necessity
3. Hedonization and Industrialization: Diverging Paths in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
4. The Hedonizing Marketplace
5. Why, When, and How Do Technologies Hedonize?
Appendixes
A. Biases of Collecting and Connoisseurship
B. Methodological Notes
Notes
Glossary
Index

Author Bio
Rachel P. Maines
Featured Contributor

Rachel P. Maines, Ph.D.

Rachel P. Maines is a visiting scholar in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University and author of The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction, also published by Johns Hopkins.