1st Edition

Socio-gerontechnology Interdisciplinary Critical Studies of Ageing and Technology

    278 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Social change in the twenty-first century is shaped by both demographic changes associated with ageing societies and significant technological change and development. Outlining the basic principles of a new academic field, Socio-gerontechnology, this book explores common conceptual, theoretical and methodological ideas that become visible in the critical scholarship on ageing and technology at the intersection of Age Studies and Science and Technology Studies (STS).

    Comprised of 15 original chapters, three commentaries and an afterword, the book explores how ageing and technology are already interconnected and constantly being intertwined in Western societies. Topics addressed cover a broad variety of socio-material domains, including care robots, the use of social media, ageing-in-place technologies, the performativity of user involvement and public consultations, dementia care and many others. Together, they provide a unique understanding of ageing and technology from a social sciences and humanities perspective and contribute to the development of new ontologies, methodologies and theories that might serve as both critique of and inspiration for policy and design.

    International in scope, including contributions from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, Socio-gerontechnology is an agenda-setting text that will provide an introduction for students and early career researchers as well as for more established scholars who are interested in ageing and technology.

    Chapters 3, 5, and 15 of this book are freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

    1. Socio-gerontechnology – Key Themes, Future Agendas

    Alexander Peine, Barbara L. Marshall, Wendy Martin, Louis Neven

    2. Age, Actors and Agency – What We Can Learn from Age Studies and STS for the Development of Socio-gerontechnology

    Anna Wanka, Vera Gallistl

    Part I: Bridges - Critical Frameworks of Ageing and Technology

    3. Fragile Robots and Coincidental Innovation: Turning Socio-gerontechnology towards Ontology

    Marie Ertner and Aske Juul Lassen

    4. Topographies of Ageing: A New Materialist Analysis of Ageing-in-place

    Monika Urban

    5. Elderliness: The Agential Inseparability of Ageing and Assistive Technologies

    Michela Cozza

    6. Civilising Technologies for an Ageing Society? The Performativity of Participatory Methods in Socio-gerontechnology

    Daniel López and Tomás Sanchez Criado

    7. Agents or Actants: What Technology Might Make of Later Life?

    Chris Gilleard and Paul Higgs

    8. Commentary: Re-imaging the Ageing and Technology Nexus

    Tiago Moreira

    Part II: Encounters - Empirical Approaches to Ageing and Technology

    9. "Send Me a Whatsapp When You Arrive Home": Mediated Practices of Caring About

    Roser Beneito-montagut and Arantza Begueria

    10. Making and Unmaking Ageing in Place: Towards a Co-constructive Understanding of Ageing and Place

    Susan Van Hees, Anna Wanka and Klasien Horstman

    11. Age Matters: Senior Exclusions, Designing Consultations and a Municipal Action Plan for Age-(Un)Friendly Cities

    Kim Sawchuk and Constance Lafontaine

    12. Dementia Scripts

    Jenny M. Bergschöld

    13. Between Repair and Bricolage: Digital Entanglements and Fragile Connections in Dementia Care Work in Denmark

    Nete Schwennesen

    14. Commentary: Encountering Ageing, Science, and Technology – Whose Future? Whose Definition of Ageing?

    Kelly Joyce

    Part III: Design - Critical Reflections and New Approaches

    15. Configuring the Older Adult: How Age and Ageing are Re-configured in Gerontechnology Design

    Andreas Bischof and Juliane Jarke

    16. Co-designing Technologies for Care: Spaces of Co-habitation

    Helen Manchester

    17. How Have User Representations Been Sustained and Recreated in the Design of Technologies Between 1960 and 2020?

    Britt Östlund and Susanne Frennert

    18. Commentary: Technology, Design, and the 3Ps – the Problem of Problematising Ageing as Problematic

    Barbara B. Neves

    19. Afterword: Why Socio-gerontechnology Today

    Stephen Katz


    Alexander Peine is Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Over the last ten years, he has developed an interdisciplinary research agenda on the use and design of technologies for older people that combines ideas from STS and Age Studies.

    Barbara L. Marshall is Professor of Sociology at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. She has written extensively on ageing, gender, sexuality and technology. Her current research explores ageing and digital technologies as these are reconfiguring embodiment and experiences of later life.

    Wendy Martin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences, Brunel University London. Her research focuses on ageing, embodiment, and the digital and everyday life. Wendy is a member of the Executive Committee of British Society of Gerontology and Co-Editor of Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology.

    Louis Neven is a lector (professor) and leads the Active Ageing research group at the Caring Society Centre of Expertise of Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda, the Netherlands. He has a long-standing interest in the design and use of technologies for older people.