Socio-Gerontechnology is a network of international researchers who share an interest in exploring the entanglements of ageing and technologies. The network seeks to strengthen critical and reflexive thinking and research by emphasising the complex and co-constitutive relationship between ageing, technology and society. It brings together international scholars with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (including critical and cultural gerontology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), sociology, anthropology, age studies and education) and provides a forum for productive, open and supportive exchange and dialogue, with the aim of fostering curiosity, reflexivity and enthusiasm for researching the topic. The network embraces both early and more established academic scholars, but in particular welcomes and supports early career scholars.
In spite of the diversity, network members share an interest in the following two pillars:
- Contemporary theorising to further our understanding of the complex co-constitution of ageing, technology and society, including a curiosity towards the development and combination of new and various methods conducive to our knowledge production.
- Critical, reflexive and constructive contributions to the development, design and implementation of technologies. Network members share an interest in contributing and engaging with the field, through various means such as research, collaboration with care workers, engineers and designers, and political actors.
Our network aims to:
- To provide an engaging and supportive international and interdisciplinary forum for critical discussions on theories, methodologies and ontologies of ageing and technologies
- To enhance interdisciplinary understanding and exploration of theories, methodologies and methods related to technology and ageing
- To develop joint projects and publications and other types of knowledge dissemination
- To engage with wider academic and non-academic international communities
- To develop a reputation as a recognisable critical voice for funders and policy makers working in the interdisciplinary field of ageing and technology
- To increase legitimacy and visibility of Socio-gerontechnology, within and outside of academia, by working with diverse publics to collaborate, share ideas and disseminate our activities and research
- To enhance education and training opportunities for current and future Socio-gerontechnology scholars
The work of the network is contextualised by current debates around and investment in technological and social innovation as response to the challenge of global ageing, and the increasing costs of social and health care. So far, these debates and investments have not yet created the scale and impact originally hoped for. Policy makers, investors and practitioners alike are recognising the need to go beyond cost-efficiency and business models in assessing the relevance of innovations, and develop more comprehensive models that acknowledge how new and existing technology is dramatically changing the way ageing is experienced, defined and valued.
The critical perspective of Socio-gerontechnology is a critical intervention in this regard. It opens up technological and social innovation to more empirically-grounded and complex theorisations of ageing-technology relations. Specifically, it sets out more critical and interdisciplinary research on ageing-technology relations as well as forms of intervening in the configuration of these relations, for example through the design of new technologies, products and services, that are more inclusive and more ethically aware of their intended and non-intended consequences.
The Socio-Gerontech network organises events intended to provide an open and safe academic environment in which participants can share research, learn, network, and converse with colleagues in environments of mutual respect. All participants in these events are entitled to experiences that are free from harassment, bullying, and intimidation. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, such as unwelcome sexual advances or other verbal or physical contacts of a sexual nature. Harassment also includes behaviours such as stalking, bullying, hostility or abuse based on age, race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, disability, health conditions, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status. Harassment may consist of a single intense and severe act or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts which are demeaning, abusive, offensive, or create a hostile environment. Harassment may also include circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group. Such conduct is harmful, disrespectful and unprofessional, and won’t be allowed. All participants in Socio-Gerontech events are expected to abide by our ethics and policy. Any breaches of the policy will be overseen and enforced by the Committee of Trust of the Socio-Gerontech Network.