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The Discourse of Technoscientific Optimization of Lifestyle
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Teknik, värderingar och politiska processer)
2011 (English)In: 4S 2011 Society for Social Studies of Science: November 2-5, Cleveland, Ohio, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Besides that Swedish households stands for half of the environmental stress in Sweden they also have one of the words highest electricity and heat consumption. The purpose with this paper is to show the dominant discourse in how Swedish householders reason about energy. It is built on the analysis of transcribed interviews with 19 households. Sometimes there were just one and sometimes two persons participating in the interviews. The coding is done by identification of key concept, tensions and meaning fixations and their relation to each other. Three different discourses are identified: One is called “the green dream”, another “the path of least resistant” and the most dominant discourse is called “the technoscientific optimization of lifestyle”.

The discourse of technoscientific optimization builds on a very active relation to energy. The basic idea is that what you do matters but on the other hand you just do what you can, what you have time and other resources to perform. Energy is divided into different areas of action and these areas are measurable (light bulbs, insulation) and defined by amount of money, electricity, heat loss, etc to earn/save. The optimization also means that you can choose environmental friendly activities according to what fits in a certain situation. Environmental problems can be solved by increased knowledge and new technology. Thus there are a strong trust in experts and their capability to solve crucial problems of the modern society.

This paper contributes with a deeper understanding of how global environmental problems are handled in day to day life and the role of science and technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Discourse, household, practice, environment, energy
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73754OAI: diva2:476863
4S 2011 Society for Social Studies of Science
Available from: 2012-01-12 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-01-20

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Gyberg, Per
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Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and Sciences

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