Advertisement

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

  • Gunhild TøndelEmail author
  • David Seibt
Chapter

Abstract

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.

References

  1. Akrich, M. (1992). The De-Scription of Technical Objects. In W. E. Bijker & J. Law (Eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change (pp. 205–224). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Asquith, N. (2009). Positive Ageing, Neoliberalism and Australian Sociology. Journal of Sociology, 45, 255–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakken, R. (2018). Alle vil leve lenge. Men ingen vil bli gamle. Oslo: Fagbokforlaget.Google Scholar
  4. Bergschöld, J. M. (2018). Frontline Innovation—How Frontline Care Professionals Innovate Welfare Technology and Services. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology.Google Scholar
  5. Boudiny, K. (2012). “Active Ageing”: From Empty Rhetoric to Effective Policy Tool. Ageing & Society, 33, 1077–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Callon, M. (1998). An Essay on Framing and Overflowing: Economic Externalities Revisited by Sociology. In M. Callon (Ed.), The Laws of the Market (pp. 244–270). Oxford, Malden, MA: Blackwell/Sociological Review.Google Scholar
  7. Carpiano, R. M. (2009). Come Take a Walk with Me: The “Go-Along” Interview as a Novel Method for Studying the Implications of Place for Health and Well-Being. Health Place, 15, 263–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christensen, K. (2018). Myten om eldrebølgen. In K. Christensen & L. J. Syltevik (Eds.), Myter om velferd og velferdsstaten (pp. 75–97). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, A. (2005). Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Czarniawska, B., & Sevón, G. (2005). Global Ideas: How Ideas, Objects and Practices Travel in the Global Economy. Malmö: Liber.Google Scholar
  11. Dillaway, H. E., & Byrnes, M. (2009). Reconsidering Successful Aging: A Call for Renewed and Expanded Academic Critiques and Conceptualizations. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28, 702–722. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0733464809333882.
  12. Garcia, C., Eisenberg, M. E., Frerich, E. A., Lechner, K. E., & Lust, K. (2012). Conducting Go-Along Interviews to Understand Context and Promote Health. Qualitative Health Research, 22, 1395–1403.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732312452936.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hine. (2000). Virtual Ethnography. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Hood, C. (1991). A Public Management for All Seasons? Public Administration, 69, 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hyysalo, S., Jensen, T. E., & Oudshoorn, N. (Eds.). (2016). The New Production of Users. Changing Innovation Collectives and Involvement Strategies. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Hyysalo, S., Pollock, N., & Williams, R. (2018). Method Matters in the Social Study of Technology: Investigating the Biographies of Artifacts and Practices. Science & Technology Studies. Published online ahead of print.Google Scholar
  17. Igelsböck, J., & Schüßler, E. (2019). New Directions for the Concept of the Institutional Script (Nano-Papers: Institution—Organization—Society, 9).Google Scholar
  18. Isaksen, J., Paulsen, K. B., Skarli, J., Stokke, R., & Melby, L. (2017). Hvilken nytte har hjemmeboende med hjelpebehov av velferdsteknologi? Tidsskrift for omsorgsforskning, 3, 117 − 127. http://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2387-5984-2017-02-09.
  19. Jacobs, T. (2005). Being Old, Feeling Old: Between Autonomy and Dependency in the Area of “Active Ageing”. Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp.Google Scholar
  20. Kusenbach, M. (2003). Street Phenomenology: The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool. Ethnography, 4, 455–485.  https://doi.org/10.1177/146613810343007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Latour, B. (1987). Science in Action. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Latour, B. (1992). Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts. In W. E. Bijker & J. Law (Eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change (pp. 225–258). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  23. Layne, L. L. (2000). The Cultural Fix: An Anthropological Contribution to Science and Technology Studies. Science, Technology and Human Values, 25, 352–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lipp, B. (2017). Analytik des Interfacing. Zur Materialität technologischer Verschaltung in prototypischen Milieus robotisierter Pflege. BEHEMOTH A Journal on Civilization, 10(1), 107–129.  https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2017.10.1.948.
  25. Lopez, D., Callén, B., Tirado, F., & Domenech, M. (2010). How to Become a Guardian Angel: Providing Safety in a Home Telecare Service. In A. Mol, I. Moser, & J. Pols (Eds.), Care in Practice: On Tinkering in Clinics, Homes and Farms (pp. 71–90). Bielefeld: Transcript.Google Scholar
  26. Marcus, G. E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24(1), 95–117.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.24.100195.000523.
  27. Minkler, M., & Fadem, P. (2002). “Successful Aging”: A Disability Perspective. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 12(4), 229–235.Google Scholar
  28. Mort, M., Roberts, C., & Callen, B. (2012). Ageing with Telecare: Care or Coercion in Austerity? Sociology of Health & Illness, 35(6), 799–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moser, I. B., & Thygesen, H. (2015). Exploring Possibilities in Telecare for Aging Societies. In M. Barnes, T. Brannely, & N. Wards (Eds.), Ethics of Care: Critical Advances in International Perspective. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  30. Neven, L. (2015). By Any Means? Questioning the Link Between Gerontechnological Innovation and Older People’s Wish to Live at Home. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 93, 32–43.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2014.04.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Noble, D. F. (2011 [1984]). Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  32. Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. (2011). Innovation in the Care Services. White Paper 2011: 11. Oslo: Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services.Google Scholar
  33. Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. (2018). Leve hele livet. En kvalitetsreform for eldre. White Paper 15 (2017–2018). Oslo: Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services.Google Scholar
  34. Norwegian Board of Technology. (2009). Framtidens alderdom og ny teknologi. Report 1. Retrieved from December 9, 2015. http://teknologiradet.no/wpcontent/uploads/sites/19/2013/08/Rapport-Fremtidens-alderdom-og-nyteknologi.pdf.
  35. NRK. (2016). Utvikler velferdsteknologi – får ikke solgt den. Retrieved June 22, 2019, from https://www.nrk.no/rogaland/utvikler-velferdsteknologi—far-ikke-solgt-den-1.13019654.
  36. OECD. (2017). Preventing Ageing Unequally. Paris: OECD.  https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264279087-en.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oudshoorn, N. (2003). The Male Pill: A Biography of a Technology in the Making. Durham and London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Oudshoorn, N. (2011). Telecare Technologies and the Transformation of Healthcare. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Oudshoorn, N., & Pinch, T. (Eds.). (2003). How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technologies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  40. Pols, J. (2010). Caring Devices: About Warmth, Coldness and “fit”. Medische Antropologie, 22(1), 143–160.Google Scholar
  41. Pols, J., & Moser, I. (2009). Cold Technologies Versus Warm Care? On Affective and Social Relations with and Through Care Technologies. ALTER, European Journal of Disability, 3(2), 159–178.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2009.01.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Peine, A., Faulkner, A., Jæger, B., & Moors, E. (2015). Science, Technology and the ‘Grand Challenge’ of Ageing—Understanding the Socio-Material Constitution of Later Life. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 93, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Peine, A., Rollwagen, I., & Neven, L. B. M. (2014). The Rise of the “Innosumer”—Rethinking Older Technology Users. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 82, 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pinch, T., & Bijker, W. E. (2012 [1987]). The Social Construction of Facts and Artifact: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (pp. 11–44). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Prior, L. (2003). Using Documents in Social Research. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Richardson, J. (2004). Ageing and Health Care: Inexorable Costs Versus Modest Adaption. Melbourne: Centre for Health Economics.Google Scholar
  47. Roberts, C., Mort, M., & Milligan, C. (2012). Calling for Care: ‘Disembodied’ Work, Teleoperators and Older People Living at Home. Sociology, 46(3), 490–506.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038511422551. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rose, N., & Miller, P. (2010). Political Power Beyond the State: Problematics of Government. The British Journal of Sociology, 43, 173–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sánchez-Criado, T., Lopez, D., Roberts, C., & Domenech, M. (2014). Installing Telecare, Installing Users: Felicity Conditions for the Instauration of Usership. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 39(5), 694–719.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243913517011.
  50. Shah, S. K., & Tripsas, M. (2007). The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Emergent and Collective Process of User Entrepreneurship. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1(1–2), 123–140.  https://doi.org/10.1002/sej.15.
  51. Star, S. L., & Strauss, A. (1999). Layers of Silence, Arenas of Voice: The Ecology of Visible and Invisible Work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 8(1–2), 9–30.  https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1008651105359.
  52. Svagård, I., Boysen, E. S., Fensli, R., & Vatnøy, T. (2016). Responssentertjenester i helse- og omsorgstjenesten: Behov og fremtidsbilder. Report 1-2016. Trondheim: SINTEF.Google Scholar
  53. Tøndel, G. (2018). Omsorgens materialitet: trygghet, teknologi og alderdom. Tidsskrift for omsorgsforskning, 4, 287–297.  https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2387-5984-2018-03-11.
  54. United Nations. (2002, April). Report of the Second World Assembly on Ageing. Madrid, 8–12. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N02/397/51/PDF/N0239751.pdf?OpenElement.
  55. World Health Organization (WHO). (2002). Active Ageing: A Policy Framework. Geneva: WHO. Google Scholar
  56. Woolgar, S. (1991). Configuring the USER: The Case of Usability Trials. In J. Law (Ed.), A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology, and Domination (pp. 57–103). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations