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“Doing value” – Modelling of useful life based on social practices

Hipp, Tamina N.

The extension of product lifetimes is discussed as an important aspect of sustainable consumption. So far, models explaining lifetimes of devices are predominantly user-oriented and are based on a methodological individualism. Systemic interrelationships are underestimated due to an overemphasis on individual room for manoeuvre. This paper presents a model to explain the useful life of devices, which – with recourse to practice theory – is taking technological change, the context of use and the setting of actions into account. The model is based on qualitative interviews that were analysed using grounded theory. At the core of the model are valuation processes that are located in the interactions with the devices and carried out against the background of context of use. Based on sociology of evaluation, it is explained how the value of a devices is produced, reproduced, increased or decreased until they are replaced. Using mobile phones as an example, two types of forms of practice are presented and it is it derived how longevity might be promoted.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9