Kjøkkenet som samfunnsprosjekt
I noen viktige tiår midt på 1900-tallet sto kjøkkenet sentralt i den offentlige interessen for modernisering av det norske samfunnet. Pådrivere var husstellekspertene, men også en rekke andre ekspertgrupper og entreprenører som så det nye kjøkkenet som en mulighetenes arena og en forutsetning for en moderne og tidsriktig levemåte. Hvordan skal vi forstå den omfattende rasjonaliseringen som ble iverksatt på kjøkkenfeltet i tiårene midt på 1900-tallet?
The kitchen as a societal project
This article analyses interest in kitchen modernisation in order to understand the knowledge, motivation and expectations driving mid-20th century kitchen entrepreneurs. During the decades before and after World War II, and across political divisions, professional boundaries and social status, modernised kitchens appear to have been regarded as a crucial element in the making of a modern society. There seems to have been a common understanding that the kitchen had to be transformed and the housework relieved in order to secure future prosperity and well-being. Kitchen interiors had to be completely renewed, electric household equipment purchased, and working methods altered. A considerable number of experts and entrepreneurs with varying competence and interest took part in this process. However, it was not a unified process pursuing common goals. Even if modernity was the common language of the time and some fields of knowledge were more powerful than others, different projects of modernisation were definitely involved. Dissimilar discourses were in play from one expert group to another, sometimes with a mutually reinforcing or weakening effect. Although the conventional gender division of labour was hardly ever contested and the kitchen was regarded as a female zone, modernisation projects were definitely happening.
gender, consumer society, history, housework, kitchen, marketing, interior architecture, postwar period