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Governing Technological Landscapes: The Historical Making of Rural Electrification Co-operatives
July 10, 2013
Monica Brannon, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, The New School for Social Research, and Resident Fellow at the Linda Hall Library.
In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created to address the lack of access to electricity, a technology that had been developed 50 years prior in urban areas. Because electric companies did not see rural areas as lucrative business opportunities, self-organized farmers developed co-operatives, most of which remain today as the governing structure of electricity covering 75% of the geographical United States. Monica Brannon, PhD candidate in sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York City, examines the meaning of technological access and the culture of electrification in rural America.