Dylan D. Furszyfer del Rio, Benjamin K. Sovacool and Mari Martiskainen
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.
Furszyfer Del Rio, D.D., Sovacool, B.K. and Martiskainen, M. 2021. Controllable, frightening, or fun? Exploring the gendered dynamics of smart home technology preferences in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 77: 102105. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102105Opens in a new tab
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