We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Material culture, room temperature and the soci...
View graph of relations

« Back

Material culture, room temperature and the social organisation of thermal energy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date06/2014
JournalJournal of Material Culture
Number of pages12
Early online date5/03/14
Original languageEnglish


This article builds on the suggestion that objects should be thought of not as bounded entities but as sites of flow, mixture and mutation. In arguing that processes of thermal exchange are outcomes and expressions of socio-material organization, the authors demonstrate the potential for linking concepts from physics and social science. Drawing on a recent study of air conditioning in the UK, they show that increasingly standardised notions of room temperature have implications for product and building design, and for how energy circulates through the many components and bodies involved. In describing indoor climates in these terms, they develop a social analysis of thermal exchange that is relevant at the molecular level and for long-term trends in energy demand and climate change.