Putting television in its place: the domestication of the television set in Britain 1936-1976

Rees, Emily F (2019) Putting television in its place: the domestication of the television set in Britain 1936-1976. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis examines how the television set was domesticated in Britain, from the beginning of the television service in 1936, to the introduction of colour in the 1970s. The thesis centres on the issue of television’s domestic consumption, through the consideration of television as a physical object that resides in the home, not just as a disseminator of information into the home.

The thesis analyses source materials which depict the idealised versions of television domestication, such as lifestyle magazines, advertisements, marketing material, and exhibitions. These help us to understand the expectations that consumers had about television and its place in their homes. In addition, it uses two Mass Observation (MO) directives which provide insight into how people spoke about and documented the arrival of television.

The first section of the thesis examines how television’s domestication was pre-figured in the ways in which television developed into a consumer good. It argues that it was within the process of commodification that television came to be understood as a consumer good destined for the home. The second section examines how television became part of ideal constructions of domesticity, showing that this negotiation was relational to the other objects and technologies shaping the home in this period. Furthermore, it argues that television’s domestication created an idealised television lifestyle, which was aligned with wider imaginaries of domesticity, in particular around the notion of comfort.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Johnson, Catherine
Mansell, James
Keywords: television, television sets, material culture
Subjects: P Language and literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK5101 Telecommunication
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 55908
Depositing User: Rees, Emily
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 10:22
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2021 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/55908

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