Towards Decent Care and Care-Work? Reflections on the Contested Digitalization of Senior Care
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Age and Care Graz 2023: Aging in a Caring Society? Theories in Conversation
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
With respect to the demographic change and the envisioned and manifest care gaps, digital technologies are promoted. From their proponents? perspective they seem to be appropriate means to cope with the care crisis by reorganizing and improving care and care-work. Skeptic voices, however, do not expect a proper technological solution for the problems of an aging society in face of the unique quality of care and caring as a human activity. Drawing from our research project ?Digitalization and work organization: narratives, practices and opportunities for participation?, funded by the Vienna Chamber of Labor, we scrutinize the narratives and practices of digitalization in senior care along the lines of two technologies: digital documentation and robotics. This is done by analyzing episodic interviews with care-workers and people from R&D and technology companies, as well as documents on the respective technologies. In a first step, we draw on the sociology of care and the respective state-of-the-art research on digitalization to show why and how digital technologies are contested. In a second step, we present narratives about the digitalization of senior care for digital documentation and robotics and reflect on their promises of decent care and care-work. In a third step, we zoom into the practices with digital technologies in care and care-work, showing how digital technologies such as digital documentation and robotics impact their care practices. We conclude by bringing the results of the three steps together by reflecting on the promises, compatibilities, contradictions and ambivalences in the digitalization of care and care-work.