Paula A. De La Cruz-FernándezJun 26, 2023
The Singer Sewing Machine in Spain and Mexico
Multinational Business, Gender, and Technologies
New Books Network 2023
Historian Paula de la Cruz-Fernandez talks about her book, Gendered Capitalism: Sewing Machines and Multinational Business in Spain and Mexico, 1850-1940 (Routledge, 2021), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. Gendered Capitalism tells the fascinating tale of how the Singer corporation operated in Spain and Mexico. Along the way, Cruz-Fernandez finds that selling sewing machines was not a top-down process by which an American corporation forced its products on unwilling consumers, but a complex development that involved collective entrepreneurship and most importantly the dreams, ideals, and efforts of women who worked with sewing machines in the home. The book raises larger questions about how we think about processes of technology adoption in different cultures and about the relationship between corporations and consumers.
Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.