1 Technologies in Practice, Software & Systems, The Department2 Culture, Aesthetics, Organisations and Society, The Department
This paper is based on an ethnographic study of senior home care practices in the Unites States and Sweden. It suggests that senior home care offers a privileged site for the study of social-technical relations and their movements because it centers analytical attention on the challenges of harnessing technology for care. For instance, while many studies of humans and their technologies assume competent or skilled users, older people often meet with awkward infrastructural arrangements that rub against frail bodies and fading memories. Senior home care thus renders such relations more explicit. These relations are explored as challenges or frictions, which require constant adjustments and tinkering. Here movement is employed as a key analytical frame for this exploration. Care moves may assume violent forms or they may flow with grace. They entangle affects and effects, emotions and motions, spaces and times, aesthetics and politics. Care moves may attend to certain concerns but neglect others. In this way movement offers several avenues for exploring the onto-epistemological and socio-technical emergences of care. In this paper I employ Donna Haraway's notion of "becoming with" to help argue that a relational analysis of senior home care can be based on a study of how human care actors move with their technologies – although sometimes with clumsy or messy outcomes. I wager that this approach compliments more normative notions of care as a purely human or “soft” domain while offering a more fruitful way to account for emergent socio-technical moves in and out care.