CFP Aging the technoscape: Anthropology & Aging- June 1 deadline

Long-term care resident plays with Paro, the robot seal
Long-term care resident plays with Paro, the robot seal

The technoscape, as described by Appadurai (1990) in his seminal work on globalization, refers to the “global configuration, ever fluid, of technology,” as well as the permeations of technology through other domains of economic and social life. Over the last 25 years, the technoscape has become dominated by an array of digital technologies, virtual worlds, and forms of mobile connectedness that are no longer used or designed by or for younger cohorts alone. The Pew Research Center reports that 43% of Americans over 65 use social networking sites (three times that recorded only five years prior); Japan has dedicated the equivalent of 22 million dollars in its 2013 budget to the development of robots to assist in eldercare; and many large-scale initiatives are linking aging and technology through ethnographic research, such as the Intel Corporation’s Global Aging Experience Project and the MIT AgeLab.

This special issue seeks to explore not only the impact of new technologies on the lives of older people around the world, but also how theories arising out of socio-cultural anthropology and gerontology can reveal new dimensions of the technoscape that may go unnoticed in youth-dominated popular discourse. We seek submissions grounded in empirical evidence that goes beyond simple juxtapositions of technologies and aging, but finds ways in which they blend, combine, and (re)shape each other. Possible submission topics might include:

  • time/space in the technoscape of telemedicine and care-related apps
  • technoscapes of surveillance and connectedness (emergency call pendants, assistive robots, e.g.)
  • changing representations of aging in the technoscape (imaging technology, art and tech)
  • technology as a focus of older cohort sociality and leisure (computer classes, tablet tea times, e.g.)
  • digital technology for bridging intergenerational relationships
  • the political economy of aging the technoscape
  • Digital technology in treating cognitive impairment
  • anti-aging, techno-immortality
  • the use of ethnography in creating aged technoscapes, and the use of technology in ethnographies of aging
  • technoscapes in and of the built environment and age-friendly cities

All submissions should be submitted no later than June 1, 2015.

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