This thesis deals with the effects on the introduction of new technology into a work of a routine habitual nature. The technology concerned is the microwave oven, and the habitual work is food preparation.
49 people - men, women and children - forming seventeen households have taken part in the empirical part of this study. The participants were interviewed about their eating habits and food preparation routines. They noted their use of the microwave oven and for each occasion stated if they had changed anything in their usual habits and routines. This registration took place in two separate periods: during one weekshortly after the purchase of the microwave oven and then during one week six months after the purchase.
Different aspects of routine habitual behavior surrounding the preparation of food were studied: l) Utensils and receptacles used, 2) Food which was heated up, thawed out or prepared, 3) Planning, 4) Order of work: i.e. who uses the microwave oven? and 5) Order of meals: i.e. who eats what and with whom?
In the summarizing analysis it is argued that one would have to differentiate between different kinds of habits in order to properly analyze the consequences of new technology. On the basis of the results in the microwave oven study, the following conclusions are presented:
1. One would first and foremost expect to find continuity in the habitual behavior surrounding new technology. This can be explained by the character of a habit: it is a latent disposition to act in a certain manner in situations which are similar to those which the actor has met with earlier.
2. Changes in habits take place most smoothly concerning those concrete things and objects which are used in direct connection with the new technology.
3. A strengthening of previous patterns can be expected to take place concerning socially integrated habits. In those are included dependence on, or concordance with, other people according to a system of standards and values.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1988. , 202 p.
1988-11-14, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 14:00 (Swedish)