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Are we sitting comfortably? Domestic imaginaries, laptop practices, and energy use

Spinney, Justin, Green, Nicola, Burningham, Kate, Cooper, Geoff and Uzzell, David 2012. Are we sitting comfortably? Domestic imaginaries, laptop practices, and energy use. Environment and Planning A 44 (11) , pp. 2629-2645. 10.1068/a44403

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Abstract

The considerable literature on domestic energy consumption practices has tended to focus on either the (re)production and contestation of normative imaginaries, or the links between escalating standards and energy use. Far less has been written which links these related areas together. Accordingly, this paper is positioned at the intersection of debates on domestic consumption, energy use, and home cultures. Through a qualitative study of laptop use in the home, we illustrate how energy-intensive practices, such as ‘always-on-ness’, and changing computer ecologies and infrastructures, are intimately bound up with the reproduction of particular domestic imaginaries of family and home. A key insight in this paper is that a purely physiological conception of comfort would fail to explain fully why practices such as always-on-ness emerge, and thus we theorise comfort as an accomplishment comprised of inseparable temporal, bodily, spatial, and material elements. Ultimately, we argue here that comfort needs to be understood as a multivalent imaginary that is itself bound up in broader idealised notions of family and home in order to comprehend shifting practices, computing ecologies, and rising energy consumption.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: social practice, home, ICT, energy, consumption
Publisher: Pion
ISSN: 0308-518X
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/51874

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