Manufacturing Technology, Manufacturing Consumers. The Making of Dutch Consumer Society

In the twentieth century production and consumption rapidly grew, accompanied by businesses’ frantic search for new markets. To be successful, new products and new technologies had to become socially embedded. In that process, a lot of (new) institutions, corporations, interest communities, research organizations, trades, shops, and laboratories were involved. Twentieth century European mass consumption thus never was self evident, but needed representation, construction, and production. In other words, mass consumption involved a lot of sustained work both of producers and consumers.

The book shows how consumption and production in 20th century Netherlands developed in tandem with social and institutional arrangements, while the relationship between the state, the market, and civil society configured the room for negotiation between stakeholders, spokespersons, and representatives of consumers and producers. The book hypothesizes that the activities of spokespersons and mediators within specific state-market-society relations were of decisive importance for the shaping of twentieth century consumer society. The book helps to disclose the Dutch consumption trajectory that helped building the European consumer society.

With contributions of: Adri Albert de la Bruhèze, Marja Berendsen, Liesbeth Bervoets, Gijs Mom, Ruth Oldenziel, Anneke van Otterloo, Johan Schot, Peter Staal and Onno de Wit

Adri Albert de la Bruhèze and Ruth Oldenziel (eds)