The goal of CareNet, an IN3 research group, is to understand the impact of technologies, particularly ICT, on the social and cultural reconfiguration of care and preparedness in the network society. This interest is built upon our interdisciplinary background in Science and Technology Studies (STS), Disability Studies, Digital Sociology and Social Psychology.
Technologies for ageing and independent living: The rise of long-term care needs associated with the chronification of diseases and rapid ageing in post-industrial societies is challenging care policies, practices and institutions. New technological care arrangements (telecare, e-health, self-tracking technologies…) seek to enable the elderly and disabled and those with chronic conditions to self-manage their condition in a way that allows them to pursue a more independent and decent lifestyle. Building upon an established trajectory in this field, this line of research aims to analyse critically the social consequences of these new care arrangements. How are care practices reshaped? What are the ethical implications in terms of what counts as good and bad care, dignity and independence? What are the new definitions of ageing and disability, wellbeing and health, independence and autonomy, shaped by these innovations? What are the subjective as well as organizational consequences of these changes?
Communities and networks of care: During the last decade, self-care communities, groups and online networks have proliferated throughout Europe: networks of co-parenting and co-mothering for parents who cannot or do not want to rely on the extended family or the administration to take care of their children; groups, associations and online forums of patients and “affected people” who give/receive mutual support, share and generate knowledge or create “social awareness” about their problem; people with disabilities and/or seniors who reject residences and organize themselves in self-care communities, etc. This line of research aims to understand how these networks and communities, mostly mediated by ICT, produce and experiment with new care practices, knowledge and notions of citizenship.
Technologies for preparedness: ICT, mobile technologies, geographic information systems (GIS), Twitter and other social media are becoming more and more important to spread and manage vital information in crisis, emergencies and disaster situations. This line of research analyses the role of mobile communication technologies and social networks in the anticipation, management and mitigation of emergencies, crisis and disasters. What is the role of these technologies in the transformation of norms, practices and institutional logics of preparedness, management and mitigation of risks, emergencies and disasters? How is this changing the contemporary organization of safety and security? How do they intervene in the (re)configuration of new “cultures” of vulnerability, resilience and/ or participation among citizens?