Science, technology and ageing

Authored by: Kelly Joyce , Meika Loe , Lauren Diamond-Brown

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415631143
eBook ISBN: 9780203097090
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221033


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Today’s elders are technogenarians; that is, science and technology are integrated into the everyday life experience of old age (Joyce and Loe 2010). Science and technology are major forces in the social construction of ageing, and ageing is an often unacknowledged component of technoscientific imagination and practice. Joyce and Mamo’s (2006) call to ‘gray the cyborg’ asks scholars to critically examine the relationships between science, technology and ageing. This chapter focuses on two cases—pharmaceuticals and ambient assistive technologies—to explore how cultural contexts shape these technologies and how these technologies in turn shape the culture and experience of ageing. The chapter highlights the global north, in part because this is where the percentage of old people over 65 already does or imminently will account for 20% of a nation’s population (Kinsella and He 2009) and because this has been the focus on social science research published in English.

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