Governing the Elderly Body: Technocare Policy and Industrial Promises of Freedom

  • Gunhild TøndelEmail author
  • David Seibt


This chapter offers an empirically grounded critique of a Norwegian technocare policy promising to emancipate the elderly from their dependency on the welfare state by enabling self-care through technology. Employing an adapted script approach, Tøndel and Seibt argue that such “welfare technology” is inscribed with a problematic representation of the world of care, which redistributes responsibility from the welfare state to a welfare industry and from care workers to the elderly themselves. The welfare-technology-script transforms a promise of emancipation into one of economic growth, requires care professionals to care increasingly for machines, and expects people in need of care to care more for themselves. Yet, despite the discriminatory potentials inscribed into welfare technology, care workers and the elderly often manage to repair the situation through practices of invisible work and creative misuse.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Technical University of MunichMunichGermany

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