Cold cuts : visions of refrigerators in United States media, 1942-1968
Gansky, Paul Alton
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After World War II in the United States, the household refrigerator and freezer became interwoven into a domestic reality defined by consumption, mechanical innovation, and a tension between spatial isolation and cultural interconnectivity. This thesis positions narrative Hollywood cinema, television and print media as the dominant sites where the refrigerator and freezer’s social identities were formed and negotiated. These productions employ the devices to explore postwar family gender roles, the influence of culture industries and consumer economies within the home, and technological fantasies and fears. They also illustrate a fertile conversation between household media technologies and kitchen accessories. As a result, viewing the refrigerator and freezer through film and television representations substantially alters existing conclusions over who interacted with the objects on an everyday basis, and their effect for a culture increasingly reliant upon appliances to provide basic human needs and generate a satisfying, entertaining lifestyle.