216 pages, 6 x 9
27 b-w, 3 color images
The Rise of the Home Office
Rutgers University Press
How did Americans come to believe that working at home is feasible, productive, and desirable? Easy Living examines how the idea of working within the home was constructed and disseminated in popular culture and mass media during the twentieth century. Through the analysis of national magazines and newspapers, television and film, and marketing and advertising materials from the housing, telecommunications, and office technology industries, Easy Living traces changing concepts about what it meant to work in the home. These ideas reflected larger social, political-economic, and technological trends of the times. Elizabeth A. Patton reveals that the notion of the home as a space that exists solely in the private sphere is a myth, as the social meaning of the home and its market value in relation to the public sphere are intricately linked.
This easy to read, fun, and unique book approaches discourses on work/life in a way that no one has before.
Patton draws on an impressive array of archival sources to demonstrate how communication technologies and architectural design have constructed ideals about working at home. Her nuanced historical analysis importantly reveals that our contemporary struggles over work/life balance are not new.
Remote Work Won’t Save Us: The home office was never designed to give workers more freedom. The pandemic has only made it worse,' by Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein
Easy Living: The Rise of the Home Office [is] a piece of engaging and prescient scholarship which, especially at the present moment, makes a valuable contribution to now central and ongoing global debates about what working from home has meant, means now, and might mean in the future.
ELIZABETH A. PATTON is an assistant professor of media and communication studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the co-editor of Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationships.
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