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Do electrons have politics? Constructing user identities in Swedish electricity
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change.
2004 (English)In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, Vol. 29, no 4, 486-511 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electricity systems in many parts of Europe and the United States are currently undergoing transformations that have potentially profound implications for managerial practice and the politics of user identities within these systems. After more than a century of "universal service" that provided technical goods and services to all users on essentially equal terms, utility managers are now constructing and exploiting heterogeneity and difference among users. This article explores local managerial practices within Swedish electricity in the mid-1990s, where managers promoted "brand-name" electricity as a strategy for configuring identities for users, their utilities, and electricity itself. These dynamics are analyzed using theoretical perspectives from two bodies of science and technology studies on configuring users' identities. The article then analyzes the emergent practices and their theoretical and political implications for understanding of how and why artifacts, users, and organizational entities are coconstituted in ongoing techno-scientific practice in infrastructural systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 29, no 4, 486-511 p.
Keyword [en]
Branding, Electricity, Infrastructures, Technoscience, Users
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-45645DOI: 10.1177/0162243904264487OAI: diva2:266541
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Summerton, Jane
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