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Defrosting the freezer: From novelty to convenience - A narrative of normalization

Shove, Elizabeth and Southerton, D (2000) Defrosting the freezer: From novelty to convenience - A narrative of normalization. Journal of material culture, 5 (3). pp. 301-319. ISSN 1359-1835

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Abstract

This article examines the 'normalization' of the British freezer. It defines three phases in this process: an initial period oriented around the utility of preserving home produce; a second stage marked by the development of a frozen food infrastructure and the establishment of the freezer as a part of the efficient domestic economy; and a third subtle but significant redefinition of the primary benefits of freezing in terms of convenience. Cast in their new role as 'time machines', freezers are sold as a means of managing contemporary pressures associated with the scheduling and co-ordination of domestic life. At one level, this is a story of the gradual acceptance of a relatively standardized object. Yet this narrative suggests that the freezer's promised benefits and functions change along the way. Developing this point, we argue that the normalization of the chameleon-like freezer can only be understood in the context of similarly changing systems of food provisioning, patterns of domestic practice and allied technological devices.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of material culture
Uncontrolled Keywords: co-determination ; convenience ; domestic technology ; everyday life ; normalization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 52990
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2012 09:58
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:12
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52990

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