Accepted paper:

Matters of concern in welfare technology

Authors:

Michela Cozza (Mälardalen University)
Lucia Crevani

Paper short abstract:

Matters of concern can be defined as complicated, engaging, diverse, fragile, and situated issues that researchers can contribute to articulate. We present and discuss five matter of concern that emerged from a research project on ageing and welfare technology in Sweden.

Paper long abstract:

Matters of concern (Latour 2005) can be defined as complicated, engaging, diverse, fragile, and situated issues for which we care. Researchers can contribute to articulating them. In this paper, we present and discuss five matters of concern that emerged by conducting participatory workshops on technology and older people needs. These activities are part of an ongoing project on ageing and welfare technology in Sweden (Cozza et al. 2016; Crevani and Cozza 2018). Two workshops were organized with older people (over 65 years old) who use digital technology to different degrees, two workshops with personnel of two municipalities (one workshop each), and one workshop with 'the technical group' (care professionals and municipal staff). Such activities were not designed with the intention of creating matters of concern ex-nihilo, but rather with the intention to create "arenas of voice" (Star and Strauss 1999) that is the conditions for each participant to sharing experiences and contributing to the material-discoursive articulation of possible matters of concern. One surfaced, these matters of concern do not need to be solved. Their importance lies in gathering attention to relevant issues to consider in developing welfare technology. By referring to the matters of concern in developing welfare technology, this contribution brings together STS and design research on gerontechnologies.

panel E05
Assembly, silence and dissent in the design and use of gerontechnologies