Framing Production: Technology, Culture, and Change in the British Bicycle Industry

Framing Production: Technology, Culture, and Change in the British Bicycle Industry

by Paul Rosen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262681706

ISBN-13: 9780262681704

Pub. Date: 03/31/2008

Publisher: MIT Press

The production of bicycles in Britain and the United States recently suffered severe setbacks. The renowned American Schwinn brand was downgraded to the mass market by its new owners following bankruptcy, and Britain's Raleigh came close to closure because of high debts and poor returns, saved only by a last-minute management buyout. In both cases, market share and

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Overview

The production of bicycles in Britain and the United States recently suffered severe setbacks. The renowned American Schwinn brand was downgraded to the mass market by its new owners following bankruptcy, and Britain's Raleigh came close to closure because of high debts and poor returns, saved only by a last-minute management buyout. In both cases, market share and credibility were lost to newer,more innovative firms, as well as to a recentering of the global bicycle industry in the Far East.This book reflects on such changes by setting them within a sociological and historical context. It focuses on the British bicycle industry in the interwar years and in the 1980s and the 1990s—periods characterized by modernization of production and of industrial organization, by changing relations among players in the industry, by new developments in labor relations, and by changes in interactions between markets and product design. In particular, it traces the fortunes of the Raleigh Cycle Company from its beginnings as an innovative young firm, through massive expansion of its products and markets and the assimilation of many of its competitors, into further innovation amid market contraction and management inertia, and finally into a phase of global restructuring that has transformed and reduced its role within the industry.The book explores the complex ways in which product design, production methods, industrial organization, and the cultures of cycling have interacted to create a succession of sociotechnical frames for the bicycle. At the same time, on an activist level, the book promotes a participatory politics of bicycle technology and a less car-centered view of personal transportation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262681704
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/31/2008
Series:
Inside Technology
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,247,956
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Technology, Culture, and the Politics of the Bicycle1
2The Emergence of the British Bicycle Industry29
3Modernization, Competition, and Collaboration in the Sociotechnical Frame of British Mass Cycle Production41
4Working for Raleigh: Sociotechnical Change and the Relations of Production75
5The Destabilizing of Mass Production: Technological, Organizational, and Industrial Change95
6The Global Flexibilization of the Bicycle119
7Up the Velorution: Toward a Sociotechnical Frame of the Sustainable Bicycle155
Epilogue181
App. A: Interviewees185
App. B: Documentary Sources187
App. CSignificant Events and Artifacts in the History of the Raleigh Cycle Company193
Notes197
Bibliography207
Index221

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