Imaginaire et réseaux techniques:
Les apports de l'histoire de l'électrification rurale en France et aux Etats-Unis

Olivier Coutard 1
1 Réseaux, Institutions, Territoires (RIT)
LATTS - Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés
Abstract : Imagination and the development of technical networks: the contribution of the history of rural electrification in France and the USA

Recent historical work suggests the need to reassess the importance of imagination in the expansion of large technical systems, beyond the initial phase of social appropriation of radically new technologies. This paper discusses the role of imagination in the expansion of electricity networks in rural areas of the US and France. It argues that the strong and lasting public support for rural electrification did not stand to reason. Rather it rested on the “modernizing imaginaire” of elected officials and social modernizers who assumed both that there was a strong connection between rural electrification and electrical agriculture, and that electrification could check rural emigration.
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Olivier Coutard. Imaginaire et réseaux techniques:
Les apports de l'histoire de l'électrification rurale en France et aux Etats-Unis. Réseaux, La Découverte, 2001, 19 (109), pp.75-94. ⟨halshs-00083971⟩

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