Accepted paper:

Matters of time - the different times of technological innovation and care practice


Marie Ertner (University of Copenhagen)
Signe Louise Yndigegn (IT University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the divergent ways of assembling ageing, time, technology and care in practices of innovation, home care, and the everyday lives of elderly people. Drawing on empirical observations of controversies around time and technology, we inquire into the ontology of time.

Paper long abstract:

Time is a matter of great concern to healthcare and eldercare. In situations of austerity, time is both an essential resource and an issue - what to spend time on? how to save time? Care and innovation both consume time, but they are also practices that generate (or assemble) time in different ways. Performative approaches to care and innovation have asked questions about the socio-material nature of things like technology, bodies, disease and care. In this paper we engage with the materiality of time, and ask how different material practices perform time in different ways. Based on ethnographic observations of controversies around time in practices of eldercare and innovation we ask what kind of a thing is time? We draw on ethnographic studies conducted in different environments in Denmark; A collaborative innovation project seeking to develop new, innovative technologies to stimulate the 'active ageing' of older danish citizens; and a danish homecare unit engaged in tasks of implementing new technologies into professional care practice, and in the homes of older people. Technologies for care-work promise to save and recover time, but, we contend, they also change what time is, which creates controversies when implemented in practices where other types of time prevail.

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