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Attuning smart home scripts to household and energy care

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Deborah ChambersORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Past techno-feminist studies have shown that smart home technologies (SHTs) have inadvertently increased household demand for energy and reinforced gender disparities. This confirms the need to gauge any changes in smart home visions, given that the domestication of SHTs depends on accurate and reliable technology and messages to householders. To determine whether smart home visions are now supporting more gender-equitable household practices and energy efficiency, a content analysis of marketing materials (n = 36) is presented. In the context of domestication and the concept of agency scripts, the results show that smart home visions continue to disregard diverse household types and fail to address either energy efficiency or the household burdens placed on women. This triggers an enquiry into the negative implications for both women's wellbeing and energy-saving goals. Feminist care ethics indicate how smart home visions can be attuned to promote gender-equitable practices and energy reduction. By accenting the mutual interdependence between humans and technologies and developing a household care practice approach, a realignment of smart home visions towards a care ethic is proposed. Strategies for repurposing SHTs as technologies of care that care for householders and the environment are offered in conclusion.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Buildings and Cities

Year: 2022

Volume: 3

Issue: 1

Pages: 663 - 676

Print publication date: 07/09/2022

Online publication date: 02/09/2022

Acceptance date: 07/08/2022

Date deposited: 09/09/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2632-6655

Publisher: Ubiquity Press

URL: https://doi. org/10.5334/bc.220

DOI: 10.5334/bc.220


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