Socio-Gerontechnology – Theorizing the Digital Life Worlds of Older People

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC11 Sociology of Aging (host committee)

Language: English

New technological developments are often discussed as one possible solution to demographic challenges. Reacting to these challenges, large scale research and innovation programs seek to support active, healthy and independent ageing with the aid of new technologies. However, most research projects in the field still struggle with the theoretical conceptualization of the intersection between ageing and technology: How is ageing being shaped by the use of new technologies? Which imaginaries of older end-users shape technological developments?

These questions are, i.a.,  addressed by Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) , but could further benefit from the integration of sociological concepts of ageing such as generations, life-course, life-stages or ‘doing age’. The aim of this session is to critically explore the theoretical contribution of sociological theories of ageing to the study of ageing and technologies. Which perspectives does the sociology of ageing offer and how could the field of gerontechnology benefit from these inputs?

For this session we invite theoretical and empirical submissions that address how age is perceived, constructed and ‘done’ through digital environments and researchers that would like to expand theoretical development in this field. Also, we especially want to encourage early career researchers to submit.

Session Organizers:
Vera GALLISTL, Institute for Sociology, Austria and Louis NEVEN, Avans University of Applied Science, Netherlands
Anna Elisabeth WANKA, Goethe University Frankfurt on the Main, Germany and Alexander PEINE, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Oral Presentations
The Mutual Emergence of Technological Innovations, Older Users, and Active Ageing: An Inquiry into Ontology
Aske Juul LASSEN, Copenhagen University, Denmark; Marie ERTNER, Copenhagen University, Denmark
Resourceful Ageing: Countering the Paternalistic Stance By Viewing Older People As Innovators
Louis NEVEN, Avans University of Applied Science, Netherlands; Ivo MAATHUIS, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
The Digital Granny: Straggler or Avant-Garde in a Digitized World?
Helga PELIZÄUS-HOFFMEISTER, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany
Showroom of Fancy Technology or Homie Environment of Daily Living? a Sociological Study of Interaction between Welfare Technology and Older Residents in the “Nursing Home of the Future”
Makiko MORITA, Fujitsu Research Institute, Japan; Nobu ISHIGURO, Osaka University, Japan; Jeppe Agger NIELSEN, Aalborg University, Denmark; Jon AAEN, Aalborg University, Denmark
Distributed Papers
Exergaming and the Construction of Age(s)
Susanne DOBNER, Institute for Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria
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