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IMT - PhD-course: New Technology in care work

uddannelse ph.d.
Undervisningssprog English
national_online kurset vises på den nationale database
vært Ph.d.-skolen for Mennesker og Teknologi

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Application deadline 15 april. Paper due 1 maj 2022

Kursus starter 16-05-2022
Kursus slutter 18-05-2022
Ekstern underviser
  • Jeanette Pols, Professor of empirical ethics in care, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Uni-versity of Amsterdam

  • Nete Schwennesen, Professor of [fill in], Interdisciplinary studies of health and healthcare


Location: Building 03, room 03.1-E37




New technologies are increasingly introduced in the health and social care sector in both the Nordic and other European countries. Telecare-systems, robots, tracking- and sensor-technologies, and many other types of technologies are increasingly used in care practices. They form part of a new wave of welfare state reforms focusing on person-centred care, empowerment and retrenchment through increasing citizen/client involve-ment in – and responsibility for – their own care, monitoring and treatment. While nothing points to increased use of care technologies as resulting in a simple movement from ‘warm’ personal care to ‘cold’ technological care, the increasing involvement of technologies in the care sector must be expected to affect care practices and the social relations of care.

The use of these new care technologies raises a number of issues and interesting avenues of research. Many technologies allow for new forms of (self-)monitoring and surveillance, and call for consideration of questions of privacy and ethics in care practices. Furthermore, many new care technologies aim to facilitate care at a distance (e.g. through telecare systems). They thus transform the character of care interactions between pro-fessionals and citizens/clients, and effect a reconfiguration of existing care networks and geographies of care. Additionally, new divisions of labour and responsibility arise between citizens/clients, professionals and technologies, leading to reconfiguration and renegotiation of the roles and identities of both citizens/clients and professionals. Moreover, questions of implementation, organization, and influence on new technologies need to be addressed. How does the use of new care technologies lead to new, and often invisible, work for both citizens/clients and professionals? And how can citizens/clients and professionals come to obtain influ-ence on the design, implementation and use of new care technologies? Last, but not least, the above-mentioned transformations related to new care technologies cannot be understood in isolation from broader welfare state policy agendas and ambitions, connecting increased technology-use with sometimes contradic-tory goals of person-centeredness, empowerment, dignity, increased quality and efficiency, as well as re-duced costs.

The course will address these and related issues concerning new care technologies, based on both theoretical and empirical contributions. We will engage with theoretical contributions on technology and care from di-verse traditions such as socio-technical systems theory, socio-material theory, practice theory and poststruc-turalist theory, and discuss their applications, limitations and potentials in empirical research based on the course literature and the course participants’ projects.

The course will consist of lectures, discussions, presentations and feedback sessions. Prior to the course, par-ticipants must submit a 3-5 page paper describing the field, perspectives and research question of their PhD-project, as well as discussing its theoretical, conceptual and methodological positions. The course language is English. Depending on participants, some sessions may be conducted in Dan-ish/Scandinavian languages.


3600 DKK for participants belonging to PhD schools outside The Open PhD Market.

Maksimum antal deltagere



Preliminary list of literature (more to be announced prior to the course)

Dupret, K., & Friborg, B. (2018). Workarounds in the Danish health sector: From tacit to explicit innovation. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. 8(S3) pp. 7-27.

Gherardi, S. and Rodeschini, G. (2016) ‘Caring as a collective knowledgeable doing: About concern and being concerned’, Management Learning, 47(3), pp. 266–284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350507615610030.

Grosen, S. L. and Hansen, A. M. (2021) Sensor-floors: Changing Work and Values in Care for Frail Older Persons. Science, technology, & human values, 46, 2, 254–74.

Halford, S., Obstfelder, A. and Lotherington, A.-T. (2010) ‘Changing the record: the inter-professional, subjective and embodied effects of electronic patient records’, New Technology, Work and Employment, 25(3), pp. 210–222. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-005X.2010.00249.x.

Hansen, A. M. and Grosen, S. L. (2019) Transforming bodywork in eldercare with wash-and-dry toilets. Nordic Journal for Working Life Studies, 9, S5, 49–67.

Kamp, A. and Hansen, A. M. (2019) Negotiating professional knowledge and responsibility in cross-sectoral telemedicine. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9, S6, 13–32.

Kamp, A., Obstfelder, A. and Andersson, K. (2019) Welfare Technologies in Care Work. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9, S5, 1–12.

López, D. and Domènech, M. (2009) ‘Embodying autonomy in a home telecare service’, Sociological Review, 56(SUPPL. 2), pp. 181–195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2009.00822.x.

Mort, M., May, C. R. and Williams, T. (2003) ‘Remote doctors and absent patients: Acting at a distance in telemedicine?’, Science Technology and Human Values, 28(2), pp. 274–295. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0162243902250907.

Nickelsen, NC. (2012)The sociomateriality of balancing. In: Jensen, I., Damm Scheuer, J. & Dahl Rendtorf, J (red.): The Balanced Company – organizing for the 21st century. 151-173

Nicolini, D. (2007) Stretching out and expanding work practices in time and space: The case of telemedicine, Human Relations, 60(6), pp. 889-920. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726707080080.

Oudshoorn, N. (2011) Telecare technologies and the transformation of healthcare. Palgrave MacMillan

Pols, J. (2013) ‘Knowing Patients: Turning Patient Knowledge into Science’, Science, Technology & Human Values, 39(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0162243913504306.

Pols, J. (2015) ‘Towards an empirical ethics in care: relations with technologies in health care’. Med healthcare and Philos, 18, 81-90 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11019-014-9582-9.

Schwennesen, N. (2019) Algorithmic assemblages of care: imaginaries, epistemologies and repair work. Sociology of Health and Illness, 41, S1, 176–92.

Ansvarlig Annette Kamp (kamp@ruc.dk )
Underviser Sidsel Lond Grosen (sgrosen@ruc.dk )
Annette Kamp (kamp@ruc.dk )
Agnete Meldgaard Hansen (agmeha@ruc.dk )

16-05-2022 09:00 - 16:00
1. day

17-05-2022 09:00 - 16:00
2. day

18-05-2022 09:00 - 16:00
3. day