2nd cycle – Webinar 5

2nd cycle – INNOVCARE Webinar n°5

Thursday 23 March 2023, 9 am to 11 am (France) / 5 pm to 7 pm (Japan) – Online

  • Helena Hirata (Paris 8 University) – CARE, theories and practices

CARE, theories and practices – Helena Hirata (Paris 8 University)

The intent here is to analyze the diversity of experiences, practices and working conditions of care workers, in Japan, France and Brazil. International comparisons enrich the understanding of care, the trajectories of caregivers and the relationship between work and subjectivity. Wide ranging comparison shows that there is no one way to provide care, but one constant, the work of caregivers is devalued everywhere. The comparison among above mentioned countries shows that the trajectories of caregivers are very different, and that there are quite contrasting configurations of social relations from country to country, but it is always the most vulnerable who are employed  in care work in the 3 countries studied.
This international comparison shows similarities in socio-demographic changes and an exponential increase in professions related to care. The most important macro-social difference between the 3 countries concerns the social organization of care: the presence of the State in the case of France, of the family in the case of Japan, of the community and of neighborhood based social networks as far as Brazil is concerned. At meso level we will present the technological and organizational innovations in Japanese, French and Brazilian nurse homes.


‘Caring Machines’ – Giulia De Togni (University of Edinburgh)

Robotics is a growing field in the delivery of care. It is expected to flourish in the face of the need for higher precision, shortages of healthcare personnel, and an increase in the number of older and frailer people. “Socially Assistive Robots” (SARs) have the potential to ‘care’ for humans through social interaction, physical assistance, and therapy delivery. However, the emergence of ‘caring machines’ raises ethical, social, and technological questions. Through her research, Dr Giulia De Togni aims to understand in what ways our identities and care relationships may be affected by the use of SARs and how this may vary in different cultural contexts. De Togni does this through carrying out interviews with those who are developing robots, health and social care practitioners, and those receiving care; and observations at robotics laboratories and care facilities in two rapidly ageing, highly industrialised countries which are leading in AI and robotics innovation, namely the UK and Japan. De Togni’s study ‘Caring Machines’ lies at the intersection between medical sociology, social anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS) and will create knowledge of how SARs may shape and be shaped by different understandings of the role and the value of human care.

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