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Controllable, frightening, or fun? Exploring the gendered dynamics of smart home technology preferences in the United Kingdom

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  • D. D. Furszyfer Del Rio, University of Sussex, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Queen's University Belfast
  • ,
  • B. K. Sovacool
  • M. Martiskainen, University of Sussex

The use of interconnected digital technologies and data offer new and perhaps profound opportunities across the world, whilst holding promises to enhance productivity growth and improved citizen wellbeing. In this research, we explore how people perceive the opportunities and drawbacks of smart homes and smart home technologies via the lens of gender. The study aims to identify what factors shape differing gendered perceptions and the implications this has for future sustainability and technological design. We address these issues through a rigorous mixed methods research design including a nationally representative survey in the United Kingdom (n = 1,032) as well as three focus groups in London, Manchester, and Surrey (n = 18 respondents). We identify the gendered nature of smart homes inductively across five different dimensions: (1) knowledge, awareness, and adoption patterns; (2) housekeeping and daily domestic life; (3) environmental sustainability; (4) trust and risk tolerance; and (5) emotions and feelings. We conclude with policy implications as well as how these findings point the way towards future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102105
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • Feminism, Gender and technology, Privacy, Smart homes, Vulnerability

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