When Smart Technologies Enter Household Practices: The Gendered Implications of Digital Housekeeping

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Abstract

This paper investigates the social and gender implications of smart home technology (SHT) by looking at its role in everyday practices and domestic relations. Based on qualitative interviews and “show-and-tell” home tours in Danish smart homes, empirical insights on digital housekeeping are presented, a concept often associated with masculinity in the literature. By showing how digital housekeeping also relates to housework traditionally associated with femininity, including home decoration and cognitive labour, the paper nuances the gendered implications of the concept. The meaning and effects of digital housekeeping are discussed by critically examining the gendered manifestations in everyday practices and household members’ experiences. The paper shows how digital housekeeping potentially redistributes (gender) roles of everyday practices and forms a new point of control in the home. Although involving acts of inclusion, digital housekeeping also risks reinforcing power imbalances and existing domestic gender roles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Volume40
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)60-77
Number of pages18
ISSN1403-6096
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Smart home
  • Social practices
  • Gender
  • Digital housekeeping
  • Emerging Technologies

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