As autumn approaches we are increasingly protected from seasonal changes by air conditioning systems. It has revolutionised our working patterns and our awareness of seasonal change. Its use has quadrupled in the UK over the last 20 years.
Laurie Taylor discusses the social impact of this invisible technology with Marsha Ackermann, historian, and author of Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air Conditioning and Harold L Wilhite, a Norweigan social anthropologist who has looked at the impact of air conditioning in Japan, India and in Norway.
Laurie talks to Professor Ray Pahl, University of Essex and Liz Spencer, co-founder of New Perspectives Research Consultancy, on their work on the role that friendship plays in our lives. They look at the kinds of friendships which fluctuate over a lifetime and at the shape and size of the "social convoy" we carry as a teenagers, and in middle and old age.
BBC survey into single living
Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air-Conditioning
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN 1 58834 040 6
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