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Tinkering Care Moves: Senior Home Care in Practice
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation builds on the current anthropological studies of care relations in practice. It draws inspiration from science and technology studies (STS) and postfeminist technoscience. A qualitative ethnographic approach grounds the empirical data collection and analysis. This entails ethnographic fieldwork with senior home care in the United States and Sweden during 2007–2008 and 2011–2012. Analytical attention centers on how movements situate various tensions of senior home care in practice. Four interrelated published works comprise the main thematic chapters. Each article exemplifies how human and nonhuman relations move and mediate care. They develop several heuristic terms that advance ideas about how older people, aging bodies, technologies, spaces, and times that tinker each other through movements of care in practice. The comprehensive summary frames these articles with an overview of the primary thematic orientations and methodological concerns. A discussion of the main contributions and implications of the dissertation concludes the work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology , 2016. , 58 p.
Series
Dissertations and documents in cultural anthropology : DICA, ISSN 1653-0543 ; 22
Keyword [en]
care moves, tinkering, senior home care, Sweden, United States
National Category
Social Anthropology Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Human Aspects of ICT Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Ethnology
Research subject
Caring Sciences; Cultural Anthropology; Ethnology; Health Care Research; Human-Computer Interaction; Medical Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296321ISBN: 978-91-506-2581-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296321DiVA: diva2:937431
Public defence
2016-09-16, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-06-15 Last updated: 2016-08-18
List of papers
1. Clutter Moves in Old Age Homecare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Clutter Moves in Old Age Homecare
2010 (English)In: New Technologies and Emerging Spaces of Care / [ed] Michael Schillmeier, Farnham: Ashgate, 2010, 77-94 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter introduces the notion of 'clutter moves' as an experimental heuristic for tracing how movement threads together a range of messy entities in old age homecare ecologies including older people and their technical arrangements. It is based on empirical data originating from an ethnographic study of old age homecare in the United States. Here the category of home clutter was revealed as more complex than it is commonly portrayed in popular or scholarly accounts, especially gerontology and geriatric–related literature on risk. This literature frequently cites general household clutter as a hazard in the domestic environment. In such reports moving around with cluttered things tends to threaten a dangerous outcome for older people. But what other possibilities emerge when analytical attention focuses on relational movements between older people and their cluttered collections of homely things? The chapter suggests that the moves between collecting and distributing clutter must be considered. For instance, it highlights how home clutter can afford older people additional movements that are not readily apparent. The chapter ends with reflections on the notion of clutter technology to extend the heuristic of clutter moves and help rethink conceptual assumptions about new technologies for home care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Farnham: Ashgate, 2010
Keyword
United States, elderly, home care, technology
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Social Anthropology Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology; Health Care Research; Human-Computer Interaction; Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292762 (URN)9780754678649 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-12
2. Surfacing Moves: Spatial-Timings of Senior Home Care
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Surfacing Moves: Spatial-Timings of Senior Home Care
2013 (English)In: Social Analysis: Journal of Cultural and Social Practice, ISSN 0155-977X, E-ISSN 1558-5727, Vol. 57, no 1, 80-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Like many countries, Sweden faces the challenge of population aging and senior care. Compared with institutionalized health care, senior home care offers a viable option, promising familiar surroundings and lower costs. However, those performing senior home care sometimes resist time management policies that pressure such care in practice. Some scholars analyze this situation as opposition between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ time. This article takes a different route. It explores how time surfaces in Swedish senior home care through relational movements of care. These enlist things such as schedules, machines, and aging bodies. To this end, the article also experiments with ‘surfacing’ as an ethnographic heuristic for figuring the coming togeher of different times and spaces of care. The article concludes that surfacing matters not only in senior home care but also in the field-desk of ethnographic analysis.

Keyword
ethnography, elderly, home care, socio-material relations, spatial-timings, surfacing, Sweden, time management
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Social Anthropology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology; Human-Computer Interaction; Caring Sciences; Health Care Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292766 (URN)10.3167/sa.2013.570106 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-12
3. Multivalent moves in senior home care: From surveillance to care-valence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multivalent moves in senior home care: From surveillance to care-valence
2015 (English)In: Anthropology & Aging, ISSN 2374-2267, Vol. 36, no 2, 145-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies of care argue that it is a relational phenomenon, whereby human and nonhuman entities enter into transformative relations. In this light, different entities of care potentially mediate one another in practice, sometimes with surprising and unforeseen effects. In this article, I trace a similar argument. Drawing on ethnographic material from Sweden and the United States, I proffer that careful attentions to older people at home produce multivalent moves with transformative effects. Increasingly, such attentions encompass new technologies to monitor and observe aging bodies. On this topic, the healthcare literature often invokes the idea of care surveillance. Certainly, surveillance can offer a valuable analytical purchase in the study of care. Yet, care attentions are not always straightforward. Rather, the moving around of aging bodies with technologies can obstruct and transform care and its attentions. At the same time, care attentions can also obstruct and transform aging bodies and their technologies. I argue that the existence of these multivalent, somatechnic moves challenges the notion of surveillance in care. To strengthen this argument, I draw on STS-inspired anthropological studies of care. In turn, I also develop the heuristic term “care-valence”. The key advantage with this term, I proffer, is that it offers an analytical compliment to the notion of care surveillance and helps refocus the analysis on multivalent moves in care. 

Keyword
Aging Bodies, Care Technology, Home Care, Surveillance, Sweden, United States
National Category
Social Anthropology Information Systems, Social aspects Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292800 (URN)10.5195/aa.2015.105 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-12
4. Comparative Tinkering with Care Moves
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparative Tinkering with Care Moves
2016 (English)In: Practicing Comparison. Revitalizing the Comparative Act / [ed] Deville, J. et al., Manchester: Mattering Press , 2016Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter stems from ethnographic fieldwork in the United States and Sweden. This work traces relations between people and technology as they come together in gatherings or socio-technical collectives for care. These hetergenious collectives situate interrelated consequences for the human and nonhuman actors concerned, but these are rarely smooth. Instead, they comprise ongoing tensions or frictions, which situate multiple acts of negotiation or tinkering. In this way, 'care moves' offers a conceptual-empirical figure for fine-tuning ethnographic attention to care as a rough and tinkered process. It denotes an analytical emphasis on care as a mediating phenomenon interwoven with collective relations on the move, empirically and conceptually, that entai both effects and affects. At the same time, the chapter does not seek a standardised social scientific comparison of two national healthcare systems. Rather than rely on established categories, it focuses on how to ethnographically tinker together - and thus care with - transnational comparisons in a more fluid manner. As such, it seeks an experimental and ethnographic approach sensitive to the specific ways care moves with its collective relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Manchester: Mattering Press, 2016
Keyword
research methods, comparison, ethnography, senior home care, Sweden, United States
National Category
Social Anthropology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292803 (URN)978-0-9931449-0-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-12

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