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Energy Use as a Consequence of Everyday Life
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Energianvändning som konsekvens av vardagslivet (Swedish)
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 662
Keyword [en]
Time use, time-geography, energy use, everyday life, sequence analysis, clustering
Keyword [sv]
Tidsanvändning, tidsgeografi, energianvändning, vardagsliv, sekvensanalys, klusteranalys
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122253DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-122253ISBN: 978-91-7685-910-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122253DiVA: diva2:864260
Public defence
2015-11-20, TEMCAS, T-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Extracting More Knowledge from Time Diaries?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extracting More Knowledge from Time Diaries?
2014 (English)In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 119, no 3, 1517-1534 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Time-use diary data convey information about the activities an individual wasengaged in, when and for how long, and the order of these activities throughout the day.The data are usually analyzed by summarizing the time used per activity category. Theaggregates are then used to determine the mean time use of a mean individual on anaverage day. However, this approach discards information about the duration of activities,the order in which they are undertaken, and the time of day each activity is carried out.This paper outlines an alternative approach grounded in the time-geographic theoreticalframework, which takes the duration, order, and timing of activities into consideration andthus yields new knowledge. The two approaches to analyzing diary data are comparedusing a simple empirical example of gender differences in time use for paid work. Thefocus is on the effects of methodological differences rather than on the empirical outcomes.The argument is made that using an approach that takes the sequence of activities intoaccount deepens our understanding of how people organize their daily activities in thecontext of a whole day at an aggregate level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2014
Keyword
Time-geography, Time-use, Methodology, Daily life, Sequence analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104192 (URN)10.1007/s11205-013-0558-6 (DOI)000344611600020 ()
Available from: 2014-02-24 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05
2. The impact of individual activity sequences on electricity energyuse in the household sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of individual activity sequences on electricity energyuse in the household sector
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The energy use of individuals in households results from their activities within the household. These individuals are targeted by information campaigns aiming at reducing household energy use.

Presented is an approach that focuses on the sequence of activities people perform during a day and how these activities affect energy use. The approach examines how individuals with divergent daily activity sequences may be clustered into aggregate activity patterns. The characteristics of these patterns are explored, as are the differences between them. The timing of energy use generated from activities during the individuals’ weekday in each cluster is considered.

In this way, daily life is approached from the perspective of individuals’ daily activities, which yields deeper, contextually anchored insights that can help shape information that individuals may relate to the structure of their daily life.

Notable results from this approach are that background variables have minor effects on the patterns, and that energy use for each pattern is varied and has its own character, and thus different strategies should be employed to target them. Argued is that in relating information to everyday activities, individuals have greater opportunities to recognize their everyday situation, which may increase their willingness to act on the information.

National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122246 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved
3. Deriving energy use from the context of peoples’ everyday lives: a study of domestic and travel activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deriving energy use from the context of peoples’ everyday lives: a study of domestic and travel activities
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Activities performed by individuals in their everyday life uses energy. Travel is an integrated vital part of everyday life, as it enables the individual to move between geographic locations, thus enabling the performance of geographically removed activities. Energy use from domestic activities and travel is commonly treated as separate though it is individuals that use energy.

By approaching the energy use of individuals in their everyday life from their travel patterns and how this relates to the energy used in everyday life a fuller picture of individual energy use can be discovered. The approach examines how individual’s energy use from travel can be aggregated into travel activity patterns and related to their energy use, both domestic and from travel. The characteristics and the differences between the patterns are explored.

Notable results are that travel constitutes a major part of the energy used of individual activities despite being performed for comparably short periods of time. The activity of travel is further an integrated part of everyday life and changes to travel patterns will claim changes in the activities performed by individuals in their everyday life.

National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122247 (URN)
Conference
AAG Annual Meeting, April 21-25, Chicago, USA
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved
4. Time for Change?: Potential for Change and Constraints inEveryday Life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time for Change?: Potential for Change and Constraints inEveryday Life
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (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.

National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122248 (URN)
Conference
37th IATUR Conference, 5-7 August 2015, Ankara, Turkey
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved

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