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Outsourcing domestic work is an established global phenomenon increasingly common in Sweden, especially since introducing the RUT reform offering tax deductions for domestic services. Little is known about Swedish families using domestic services. This article investigates the narratives of 12 Swedish women living in families using domestic services and what this means for their everyday family life. The results show that outsourcing in part is regarded as a solution to a gender equality problem as it relieves women from unpaid household work. However, the women’s narratives also reveal that even when domestic work is outsourced, the women continue to have the main responsibility for everyday family life. The article thus contributes insights into how gender equality in everyday family practices is negotiated when domestic work is outsourced.

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This article highlights the concept of emotion regime while discussing available applications. It then applies the regime concept to two distinct periods in 20th-century US history: the first, from early in the century through the 1950s, stressing emotional restraint, and the more recent opening to more vigorous emotional expression. The article ends with a discussion of the causes and significance of the change.

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The uptake of homeowner energy retrofits and related policy instruments are lagging behind targets. The Finnish government has decided on the phasing out of oil heating by 2035, but despite financial and other support for homeowners, only 14 per cent of homeowners with oil heating reported planning to switch their heating systems. Homeowner decision-making on energy investments is typically seen as an outcome of rational evaluation based on calculations about costs, payback times, and savings in energy and money. However, informal, experience-based knowledge contributes centrally to situations where people end up keeping their current heating system, yet there is little research on practical knowledge when households consider energy investments. This article presents findings from interviews with Finnish homeowners (N=29) living in detached houses with oil heating systems and argues that homeowners’ embodied heating habits and practical knowledge are important in understanding homeowner willingness to keep existing heating systems. In the in-depth interviews conducted in spring 2022, homeowners discussed their energy use practices, past renovations and future renovation needs, as well as concerns related to switching oil heating to a low carbon heating system. The findings suggest that homeowners’ practical knowledge on heating with their existing system and the lack of such knowledge in relation to alternative heating systems may be one reason why homeowners are reluctant to switch their heating systems. The study contributes to a growing body of research which highlights the relevance of everyday practices in homeowner energy renovations.

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Societies employ mechanisms to pass on their knowledge through generations. The intergenerational transmission of social memory has become a relatively recent field, gaining increased interest over the past four decades. This article provides a narrative review of the literature on this topic. Findings reveal that memory transmission is influenced by factors that either facilitate or hinder discussions about the past within the family environment. These factors include silence, emotion, the contingency of daily communication and social-level memory characteristics. While official memory often prevails over family memory, the richness of family narratives lies in their ability to offer unique perspectives that may contradict official accounts. The study concludes that family memories may be at a higher risk of fading into social silence and oblivion. Intergenerational memory thrives when there is a plurality of memories within the broader society, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in preserving collective memory.

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David and Freya Flatman have four daughters – 14, 11 and 2 years old and a 6-month-old baby – and live in the UK. Their older two daughters are from David’s first marriage and the younger two are from his marriage to Freya. For part of the week, the two older girls live with David and Freya and their younger sisters. In the interview, David reflects on how his older daughters use tech, with contributions from Freya and prompted by questions from the interviewer.

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Chapter 5 offers insights into a critical aspect of the inner workings of movement organizations – the practice of political organizing. This practice, which often takes place behind the scenes, plays a crucial role in the sustainable functioning of these organizations and ensures their readiness for action when the time comes to mobilize for their cause. Chapter 5 shows that Southern European activists use a wide range of media-related tools and actions, both digital and non-digital, in their daily efforts to organize and engage politically. It also outlines three main challenges that activists face, mostly due to the increased use of digital media. First, activists grapple with the acceleration of political time, which provides immediacy but limits opportunities for reflection and collective exchange. Secondly, the boundaries between political and non-political life are blurring as the incessant flow of data infiltrates various aspects of activists’ daily routines. Finally, the production and dissemination of data takes place within digital media owned by commercial entities, raising concerns about surveillance and privacy. In response to these challenges, Chapter 5 explains how activists exercise agency over the data stream through three key strategies. They incorporate slower forms of digital communication to counter the rapidity of the data stream, break the stream into manageable sequences of information, and engage in less digitally mediated interactions, including face-to-face meetings, to protect themselves from surveillance. Despite these common challenges, Chapter 5 also makes clear that activists’ experiences of digital media and, more broadly, the data stream, vary across Italy, Greece, and Spain, also due to the political issues at stake, available resources and the specific contexts of each country.

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The Practices of Daily Grassroots Politics in Southern Europe

Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

This book pulls back the curtain on the link between activism, media and technology in the quiet times of politics when people are not protesting.

Introducing the novel concept of the ‘data stream', it explores the intricate ways in which activists interact daily with various types of data and how they navigate the impact of digitalization and datafication on today’s grassroots politics.

Through rich, empirical data from Greece, Spain and Italy, Activists in the Data Stream makes a nuanced contribution to our understanding of activists’ daily political engagement in an ever-changing media and political landscape.

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Chapter 8 acts as a conclusion and summarises the main findings of our research from a theoretical perspective. It discusses the four practices first separately and then considering the many points of contact they have one with the other. Most importantly, Chapter 8 also argues that the practice of finding information anchors the other three practices, as it has both theoretical and empirical implications for the study of everyday grassroots politics in periods of latency, as well as social movements in periods of mobilization. Chapter 8 then shifts its focus to the question of activist agency in the data stream, recalling its three characteristics, namely that it is heterogeneous, ubiquitous, and perpetual. In light of these three characteristics, Chapter 8 discusses some aspects of activists’ agency by considering the role of hybridity for activists in the three Southern European countries, their skilful recourse to face-to-face interactions, and their ability to slow down the fast pace of the data stream when necessary. Finally, drawing on the empirical research presented earlier in the volume, Chapter 8 formulates a number of hypotheses about grassroots politics, social movements and the data stream, and suggests further lines of research on the topic.

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Chapter 2 centres on the process of finding information. It suggests that a significant aspect of activists’ daily political work includes the constant gathering, assembling, combining, collecting and storing of different types of data, which activists then seek to transform into relevant information. Chapter 2 demonstrates how activists collect data from various media devices and services, such as newspaper articles, radio programmes listened to while driving, and social media platforms accessed through smartphones and tablets. It indicates that the information they want to obtain is linked to various political actors, also including the movement organizations of the activists themselves. Chapter 2 also illustrates how activists carry out the practice of finding information by constantly monitoring their media coverage and regularly checking digital media analytics. Finally, Chapter 2 explains two difficulties that activists encounter when searching for information: the many different temporalities involved in the datastream, and the data overload that activists have to deal during their daily grassroots political work.

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