Dynamic non-humans such as service robots are intended to ‘take over’ practices previously performed by humans. This chapter considers this anticipated role within theories of social practice. It does this by exploring three possible roles for robotic vacuum cleaners or ‘robovacs’ within social practices: first, as a material element (device) of vacuuming practices performed by humans; second, as (human-perceived) non-human performers of vacuuming; and third, as materials that are enrolled in the practice of ‘Roomba riding’, whereby other non-humans (domesticated animals) ride robovacs for entertainment. The chapter calls for a relational and provisional understanding of non-humans in theories of social practice, drawing attention to the different dynamics each perspective prioritises. It concludes by considering the value of these different conceptual roles for future research.
|Title of host publication||Social Practices and Dynamic Non-Humans|
|Subtitle of host publication||Nature, Materials and Technologies|
|Editors||Cecily Maller, Yolande Strengers|
|Place of Publication||Cham Switzerland|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
Strengers, Y. (2019). Robots and roomba riders: non-human performers in theories of social practice. In C. Maller, & Y. Strengers (Eds.), Social Practices and Dynamic Non-Humans: Nature, Materials and Technologies (pp. 215-234). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92189-1_11