Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Smart homes as ideological agents  
Sebastian Nähr-Wagener (FernUniversität Hagen) Orsolya Friedrich (Fernuniversität in Hagen)

Short abstract:

The talk Smart Homes as Ideological Agents looks at the ‘smart home’ as a very smart place for the subtle production and regulation of certain subject forms in late capitalism, ultimately showing in what sense smart homes also function as ‘ideological agents’.

Long abstract:

In the context of so called ‘smart homes’, especially smart household devices (e.g. ‘smart’ fridges, ovens, dishwashers or washing machines), the time savings for users and the ecological benefits are usually emphasized in addition to the increased convenience. And there's no doubt about it: smart homes can not only make running a household more convenient, but also more efficient and, to a certain extent, more environmentally friendly. But in what sense are smart household devices actually 'smart' in this context? Because they automate or connect certain activities or processes in the household – i.e. ultimately only because of their state of technological development? Or isn’t it rather the case that there are also some other 'smart' effects, which are important here? This assumption is particularly plausible if one dares to take a 'critical perspective' on technology (c.f. e.g. Feenberg 1991): From this perspective, both the promise of increased efficiency regarding housework but also the valorization of ecological and moral convictions are to be seen under the given socio-historical conditions as components of certain neoliberal regimes of governmentality and corresponding processes of subjectivation (cf. fundamentally Foucault 2007, 2008) – in short, smart homes are also very smart places for the subtle production and regulation of certain subject forms (e.g. the quantified, the optimized, the entrepreneurial, the valorized etc. self) in late capitalism. The talk addresses these ways of subjectivation and thus ultimately shows in what sense smart homes also function as ‘ideological agents’.

Traditional Open Panel P331
Political Economy, Historical Materialism, And STS
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -