Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Domesticating the "Smarter Than You" Home: Gendered Agency Scripts Embedded in Smart home Discourses

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Deborah ChambersORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Nomos, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Smart home networked systems promise a mode of comfort, efficiency and convenience that infers the easing of housekeeping chores. They impact on the moral economy of the home in ways we barely understand. Drawing on feminist technology studies and domestication theory, this article investigates how gendered relations are assigned and legitimated in smart home marketing reports and advertisements to enquire whether men and women are invited to participate equally or unequally in smart home technology. This raises questions about hoe promotional texts might influence and circumscribe domestic adoption. An interpretive content analysis of marketing reports and advertisements explains the pedagogic role of smart scenarios in coaxing and coaching households to domesticate I-o-T operated technology. The concept of "agency scripts" is employed to explain how smart actions are conveyed and assigned by promotional texts to activate smart adoption. This enables an enquiry into the values and ideals conveyed in smart home discourses at the commodification stage of domestication and their implications for later stages. We might assume that smart technology democratises the home by fostering gender equality in the organisation of homemaking routines. but a critical study of the narrativization and assignment of smart agency reveals significant gender disparities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: M&K Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft

Year: 2020

Volume: 68

Issue: 3

Pages: 304-317

Print publication date: 19/08/2020

Online publication date: 18/08/2020

Acceptance date: 08/07/2020

Date deposited: 26/08/2020

ISSN (print): 1615-634X

ISSN (electronic): 1615-634X

Publisher: Nomos


DOI: 10.5771/1615-634X-2020-3-304


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric