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Get Out of My Room!A History of Teen Bedrooms in America$
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Jason Reid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409351.001.0001

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(p.137) Six Go to Your Multimedia Center!
Get Out of My Room!

Jason Reid

University of Chicago Press

The sixth chapter of Get Out of My Room! examines a specific type of bedroom-oriented consumer product: home electronics. This chapter argues that home electronics items reinforced the uniqueness of the teen bedroom by, in effect, encouraging more solitary forms of leisure in the home. For instance, radio and phonograph use during the 1920s and 1930s most often took place in communal parts of the home, such as the parlor or living room. However, the emergence of small and affordable transistor radios and phonographs in the 1950s and 1960s challenged this approach by allowing teens to slink off to their room and listen to music on their own terms. This trend only intensified during the last half of the 20th century, once televisions, telephones, personal computers, and gaming consoles began finding their way into the teen bedroom. Although many observers understood the anti-social nature of this trend, parents were often told that home electronics items could help contain teenagers within the home and keep them out of trouble.

Keywords:   home electronics, radios, phonographs, telephones, televisions, personal computers, gaming consoles, solitary forms of leisure, containment, hackers

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