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The Instrumentalisation Of Horses In Nineteenth-Century Paris

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Chapter Summary

Horses were the quintessential animals of nineteenth-century Western cities. In this chapter, the author discusses why that was no longer true in the twentieth century. Horses were the most ubiquitous, everyday and useful of urban animals. As the main motors for industrialising cities, horses saturated the streetscape, helping cities to operate and helping to define the urban. Social and economic historians have long recognised horses as urban infrastructure in nineteenth-century Europe powering machines; transporting people, goods and information; completing supply chains; and driving the urban economy making the horse market a major economic sector. Study of horse answers a deeper question, how were horses constructed as a technology. The author's analysis builds on Feenberg's theory of the instrumentalisation of technology. The chapter historicises the instrumentalisation process and adds empirical substance to instrumentalisation theory.

Keywords: Feenberg's theory; Horse; instrumentalisation theory; nineteenth-century Paris



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