Fachgruppensitzung Technik 2023




Incentive Talk: Ethical and methodological dilemmas in social science interventions: Careful engagements as composition of telecare services

Professor Niels Christian Mossfeldt Nickelsen

Faculty of Health and Social Science, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

I explore my own careful engagement in the appropriation of a telecare platform in a Danish municipality in which the platform disturbed existing care relations among the care providers. The platform raised questions such as how the health centers, the medical practitioners and the local lung clinic should collaborate about monitoring chronically ill old persons. To explore this, the care providers from different healthcare sectors were brought together to discuss and enact new relations. While relying on ideas from care studies and Science & Technology Studies and to debate the difficulty of engaged research in a divided professional field embracing various performance systems and ideas of good care, I explore my own engagement as a particular kind of caring. While I increasingly experienced the difficulties of holding everything together, I had to give up the focus on cross-sector relations. The presentation contributes to and destabilizes the notion of engaged research by pointing out the challenges facing a researcher who may have to bring actors together that have not been collaborated before. Engaged research may come with a price and sometimes, the researcher must make concessions to research collaborators to continue the research project.


Professional Women and Elder Care in Contemporary Japan: Anxiety and the Move Toward Technocare

Anne Aronsson, Yale University

The elder population in Japan is increasing drastically, causing a number of issues that have not yet been encountered by Western countries. Demographic data from Japan reveal that the Japanese have the longest lifespan globally, resulting in the country having the world’s highest population of elderly people. At the same time, the country has a rapidly declining birth rate. As the population is aging, the workforce is shrinking and leaving a high number of elders with fewer caregivers to look after them. At present, the Japanese government is working on the development of robotic care solutions to overcome the labor shortage in eldercare, implementing a new agenda to increasingly introduce social robots to assist in the field. This presentation discusses professional women in Japan and their burden of caring for aging relatives, and how introducing robotic care devices might reduce current anxieties regarding the provision of eldercare. It analyzes the eldercare strategies of 12 white-collar professional women in their forties and fifties, and examines the extent to which gendered, expected at-home caregiving affects their professional commitments and associated anxieties. The findings are expected to provide crucial insight into the most effective strategies that can be used by Japanese women to balance their careers with responsibilities to care for elderly relatives, particularly when it is impossible to predict the intensity of caregiving in the future.



Social” robots forming sociality? Analysis of relationality in long-term care practices

involving robots, a Japanese example

Yuko Tamaki Welply, EHESS

This presentation will offer preliminary findings from participant observation of the use and non-use of a “social” robot (nonverbal communication robot) in a Japanese long-term care facility (LTCF). The previous presentation (from last year) focused on data from the robot provider side, and this presentation is a continuation of that, focusing on data from the robot user side (care workers and LTCF residents). First, I will show residents “using” social robots in the LTCF. Then, I will discuss the actual usage of the robot by care workers in different situations. Finally, these will be analysed in greater depth in comparison to the “imagined” usage by the robot provider, in terms of relationality.



Analyzing the redistribution of work tasks between humans and robots in the domain of care work. Cases from Germany and Japan

Kevin Wiggert, Technical University Berlin

Over the last twenty years, care robots are claimed to be a promising technology for elderly care relieving care professionals in alleviating them from the heavy burden of care work. Numerous care robot projects have been financed by funding agencies, conducted by robot developers, and supported by care professionals and organizations with reference to this claim. In our empirical data, we found a recurring line of argument for explaining and justifying the need for developing care robots to tackle this nursing crisis. This argument remains consistent over time and across national contexts, it appears dominant in Germany and Japan alike Considering the increasing shortage of staff, care robots should be developed and deployed to help filling the gap. Therefore, we investigate cases of developing and applying collaborative robots as co-workers of human care professionals in Europe and Japan in our project. The basic idea of collaborative robotics aims to support human work tasks by delegating subtasks to robots. Accordingly, this circumstance does not result so much in the replacement of entire jobs but rather leads to redistributions of agency within work tasks. Against this background, this presentation shows some of the case studies about redistributing work tasks among humans and robots in the domain of care work in Germany and Japan, while applying the methodical approach of analyzing distributed action. In addition, this talk will specify potential similarities and differences between the German and the Japanese contexts.









Assoc. Prof. Susanne Brucksch

Teikyo University, Japan


Dr Cosima Wagner

Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


Assoc. Prof. Naonori Kodate

University College Dublin, Ireland