Synopses & Reviews
A History of Everyday Things is a pioneering essay by one of the world's leading cultural historians that sheds light on the origins of the consumer society, and thereby the birth of the modern world. Things that we regard as the everyday objects of consumption have not always been so: how, therefore, have people in the modern world become "prisoners of objects," as Rousseau put it? Daniel Roche answers this fundamental question of historical anthropology, and imaginatively explores the origins of the daily furnishings of modern life.
"Excellent and provocative....The text is clear and well organized, and the translation is excellent." Journal of Anthropological Research"To read Roche is to see les choses banales-"everyday things"-in a new light, to understand their evolution, to grasp their significance as historical markers, and most of all, to appreciate how much twentieth century consumer society takes them for granted." Benjamin F. Martin
Daniel Roche examines the birth of the consumer society via an examination of the history of everyday things.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I. Production and Consumption: 1. The natural framework and the human framework; 2. Towns, trade and inventions; 3. Ordinary consumption and luxury consumption; Part II. Ordinary Life: 4. Rural and urban housing; 5. Lighting and heating; 6. Water and its uses; 7. Furniture and objects; 8. Clothing and appearances; 9. Bread, wine, taste; Conclusion.