SCH-32806 Consumer, Technology and Innovation

Code last year: (SCH-22806)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work10
Course coordinator(s)ir. CAA Butijn
Lecturer(s)ir. CAA Butijn
dr. ir. LPA Steenbekkers
dr. S Wahlen
Examiner(s)ir. CAA Butijn

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

Thesis Consumer Technology and Product Use at SCH or FQD.


This course addresses the interfaces between consumers and technology. In the course we unravel how the use of technologies affects consumers. But we also look at how consumers through their everyday practices affect technologies and material outcomes. We perceive consumption as consisting of practices in which both material (such as technologies) and human (such as values, norms and habits) aspects come together. Furthermore, we consider the household as a primary locus of consumption. Together material and immaterial aspects lead to consumer services (output), such as a meal or a clean laundry. But they may also cause undesired side-effects (side-put) such as health risks and pollution. In order to understand the making of such outputs and side-puts, an understanding of the interrelatedness of material and human factors is considered crucial.
Innovation and change in consumption practices are important themes within this course. To understand change, again an integrated perspective on human and material factors is essential. Technological innovation may propel change, but also the way in which humans value and use existing technologies can lead to changes. Those changes may have great consequences for sustainability, health and hygiene. With the same integrated approach, in which attention for material factors is combined with human factors, we also address quality issues of technology and technology assessments. With respect to consumer technological research applied research and assessment models will be discussed, hailing from both the natural and the social sciences.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain consumption practices as consisting of both human and material factors;
- interpret the household as a primary locus of consumption;
- analyse the interaction between human and material factors in consumption practices;
- evaluate the effects of consumption practices in the household to health and the environment;
- assess consumer perspectives in a specific domain of consumption;
- design and execute a research from a consumer perspective investigating a specific set of consumption practices in the household, in which both human and material factors are distinguished.


Lectures on topics such as:
- concepts of consumer technology;
- household system and function fulfilment;
- effects of technical processes and innovations;
- health and hygiene;
- technology assessment.
Group work
- students prepare a research proposal and do a research on a topic relating to consumers and technology.


- written with open and/or closed questions (50%);
- group paper (50%).
Both components require a minimum of 5.50.


A reader will be available at the start of the course.

Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScB: Consumer Studies2MO
Compulsory for: WUCBHBSc Minor Consumer Behaviour2MO