Care in medical settings has been often associated with forms of dedication, compassion and generosity that sometimes accompany clinical treatments and that only humans can provide. It could be seen as crucial for cure and/or rehabilitation, but as far as care is related to an affective dimension, it is frequently considered as something different from technology. Although care can enhance the efficacy of technology, they seem to belong to separate terrains. While care is seen as human and kind, technology is associated with a calculating rationality from means to ends. However, Annemarie Mol argues that care is not opposed to technology, when technology is handled with care (2008:5). Building on this idea, the goal of this panel is to rethink the notions of care and technology in order to expand the borders of the latter and include care as an inextricable component of it. Rather than “the other” of technology, care is embedded in technology and constitutes it. We aim to understand what are technologies of caring and how they come into life? What types of subjects of care and caring subjects result from the encounters with these technologies? And what forms of care emerge from these encounters?
Through ethnographic work in different geographical and institutional medical settings, the papers of this panel focus on how practices of patients and medical practitioners blur the distinctions between care and technology allowing us to talk of “technologies of caring.” We consider technologies of caring not exclusively as medical devices, machines and methods, but also as artifacts, objects and things (e.g. envelops, remittances, drawings, etc.) that come to be therapeutic technologies into embedded relationships of care. We approach these objects as “matters of care” (Puig de Bellacasa 2011) while in other configuration of relations they might be something else.
Discussant: Marianne de Laet
University of California Davis
One Shields Avenue
530-2202252 Email: email@example.com
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