Reshaping Dementia: Materialities of Care in Medicine, Social Gerontology, and Citizenship Practices

Speaker: Mike Laufenberg # Technical University Berlin

12th Nov 2018

15:30 - 17:00

Staff Room, 6th floor, Crystal Macmillan Building, George Square, University of Edinburgh

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Building on Joan Tronto’s ethics of care and its recent actualisations in STS the presentation explores dementia care through a materialist lens. The materiality of care is traced in three interwoven dimensions: What are the conditions of caring? What are the elements of caring (including technologies and objects)? And how does caring itself actively effect the material becoming, maintenance and repair of bodies, selves, and the worlds they inhabit?

Drawing on findings from a current ethnographic research project on the organisation of communal dementia support, the interplay between the materiality of care and the materialisation through care will be demonstrated by contrasting three different care arrangements: (bio-)medical care; care which is predominately informed by social gerontology; and citizenship practices of support, participation and empowerment. The presentation argues that dementia is not only experienced differently but indeed materialises according to varying care arrangements. Implications and consequences of this finding are discussed from the perspectives of STS, critical dementia studies and an empirical ethics of care.

Mike Laufenberg is Research Fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies at the Technical University Berlin