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theories of practice
resistance to technology
domestic appliances
everyday life
qualitative research

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The author argues that resistance to new technology does not result from “technophobia” but rather from the fact that the new technological object is inscribed with new meanings and frameworks of action that may disturb the existing networks of practices, beliefs, and knowledge. Based on an analysis of 24 dyadic in-depth interviews and 52 individual in-depth interviews with people aged 47–91 living in Warsaw and Poznan (Poland), five sources of resistance to new domestic technologies were identified: (1) disruption of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi 1990) – the pleasure resulting from a habitual and automatic action, the synchronization between the body and its material surroundings; (2) disruption of the “natural order of things” (the “mental map,” Kaufmann 2001) – a sense of security, durability or safety resulting from the stability of the spatial and material arrangement of the home (a sense that everything is in its place); (3) differences of standards and cultural ideals regarding acceptable practices, the quality of their performance, and their effect; (4) possible disturbance in relationships between members of the household; (5) beliefs about what is right, moral, or correct, as well as dissonances between different pieces of knowledge and beliefs, and between an opinion or belief and an embodied practice.



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