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Time for Change?: Potential for Change and Constraints inEveryday Life
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Behavioural change is among the goals of information campaigns aimed at sustainability and reducing energy use, often directed towards specificactivities. Encouraging behavioural change is expected to induce changes to what and how activities are performed by individuals in everyday life. The results, however, seldom meet the expectations.

Here, the difficulties for people to change their daily behaviour in line with the campaigns are explored from the perspective of understanding the activities of everyday life as a sequence of activities, and it is claimed that for change to occur this sequence as a whole has to be considered. Taking a timegeographic approach on analysing activity sequences it is argued that change not only relates to a specific activity in itself but also to its context.

It is argued that it may be complicated to change an activity of everyday life due to it being affected by other activities, impacting other individuals, affecting the individuals’ goals and desires as well as requiring a restructuring of the whole day. Activities are classified as flexible, semi-flexible and rigid due to their relatedness to their context and to basic human needs. The conclusion is that changes of a singular specific activity have an effect on the daily sequence of activities and while there may be a potential for change at a general level, there may not be a capacity to enact the change when the activity is seen in its context, implying that information campaigns for change ought to have a more holistic approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122248OAI: diva2:864172
37th IATUR Conference, 5-7 August 2015, Ankara, Turkey
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Energy Use as a Consequence of Everyday Life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy Use as a Consequence of Everyday Life
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Energianvändning som konsekvens av vardagslivet
Abstract [en]

Energy use is a part of everyday life and the use of energy is a part of the global climate change. Policy makers urge individuals to change their daily behaviour in order to mitigate climate change and care for our common environment.

The dissertation regards daily behaviour as activities performed by individuals. The theoretical base is the time-geographic approach wherein everyday life is regarded as a sequence of interlinked activities performed by indivisible individuals. The dissertation investigates individuals’ energy use as an outcome of the activities they perform in everyday life.

The empirical base of the dissertation is time-diaries from the Swedish time use survey 2010/2011. The diary data is explored as sequences of daily activities by using sequence analysis and clustering. The results show that individuals’ energy use is closely interweaved with how they live their everyday lives in terms of activity sequences. The results imply that changing an activity affects both the intricate web of interaction in the household and the interdependence of activities in everyday life. Change does not only affect the singular activity that was the object for the change, but rather major parts of the sequence of activities. In order to address energy conservation in information campaigns considerations ought to be taken on how everyday life is shaped and formed by the individual, by negotiations between the individuals in households, and societal structures. Information can be targeted to groups of individuals  with similar activity sequences as they are revealed by cluster analysis.

Abstract [sv]

Energianvändningen är en del av vardagen likaväl som användningen av energi är en del av den globala klimatförändringen. För att mildra effekterna på vår gemensamma miljö uppmanas människor av politiker och andra beslutsfattare att förändra sitt vardagsbeteende.

I avhandlingen betraktas vardagsbeteendet som människors dagliga aktiviteter. Avhandlingens teoretiska grund är den tidsgeografiska ansatsen, där människors vardag betraktas som en sekvens av de aktiviteter som utförs av odelbara individer. Människors dagliga sekvens av aktiviteter undersöks för att ta reda på vilken energianvändning som genomförandet av aktiviteterna ger upphov till.

Den empiriska grunden för avhandlingen är tidsdagboksdata från den svenska tidsanvändningsstudien från 2010/2011 och avhandlingen utforskar tidsdagböckerna som sekvenser av aktiviteter med hjälp av sekvens- och klusteranalys. Resultaten visar att individers energianvändning är nära sammanvävd med de aktivitetssekvenser som visar hur vardagslivet levs. Resultaten pekar vidare på att förändringar av enskilda aktiviteter också påverkar andra aktiviteter i det dagliga livet. Förändringar av en aktivitet påverkar således hela den dagliga sekvensen av aktiviteter. I utformningen av information som syftar till att minska hushållens energianvändning bör hänsyn tas till hur vardagslivets aktivitetssekvens formas av den enskilde i samspelet både med andra individer i hushållet och med samhällsstrukturerna. Målgruppsinriktad information kan utformas med utgångspunkt from människors likartade aktivitetsmönster så som de framgår genom klusteranalys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 85 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 662
Time use, time-geography, energy use, everyday life, sequence analysis, clustering, Tidsanvändning, tidsgeografi, energianvändning, vardagsliv, sekvensanalys, klusteranalys
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122253 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-122253 (DOI)978-91-7685-910-0 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-20, TEMCAS, T-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved

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Hellgren, Mattias
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