Portable technology and multi-domain energy practices

Thomas Derek Robinson*, Eric Arnould

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article complements the concept of embedded security by proposing disembedded security to capture consumers’ energy practices when travelling across multiple domains of energy accessibility. Consumer mobility outside the home produces misalignments between infrastructure and portable technology experienced as ‘hysteresis of the battery’. Hysteresis captures how respondents are subject to ‘unpleasant unpredictability’ about battery-based technology and infrastructure, which spurs hermeneutic reflection about energy, location and sociality. Multi-domain energy practices therefore bring energy consumers to ‘reembed’ or create a sense of psychological comfort on the move. Charge levels on battery icons not only structure daily patterns of consumer life through planning efforts but become interpretively entangled in issues of duration, distance and sociality as energy demands in portable technology push consumers to avoid disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number1
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Energy
  • infrastructure
  • mobility
  • practice theory
  • technology

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