How to apply IoT skills at home: Inequalities in cultural repertoires and its interdependency chains

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Using the Internet of Things (IoT) at home is promising but also a conduit for new digital inequalities. People start using IoT in different ways, ultimately determining the outcomes, benefits and exploitations of IoT use. Typical for IoT use is that everyday activities involve more parties, internet connections and internet services. IoT is socially embedded in a network of interdependencies and power balances between different parties. Through qualitative research interviews and house tours among 30 households, we examine how people start using IoT differently and how they position themselves in relation to others in doing so. We adjust operational skills and collaboration skills from a digital skills framework to IoT and construct choreographic skills to address the socio-materiality of the IoT. We find that collaboration skills to increase the effectiveness of IoT use generally relate to cultural repertoires coupled with higher education, whereas choreographic skills to increase the efficiency of IoT use is coupled with an alternative repertoire that utilizes skills outside of higher education. Self-reliance, consequently, is an important distinguishing value for a cultural repertoire coupled with lower education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101486
Number of pages14
Early online date1 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Digital skills
  • Interdependency chains
  • Education
  • Internet of Things
  • Network society
  • Cultural repertoires
  • Digital inequalities


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