Calling for Care: ‘Disembodied’ Work, Teleoperators and Older People Living at Home

Roberts, Celia and Mort, Margaret and Milligan, Christine (2012) Calling for Care: ‘Disembodied’ Work, Teleoperators and Older People Living at Home. Sociology, 46 (3). pp. 490-506. ISSN 0038-0385

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Abstract

The provision of ‘distant’ care to older people living at home through telecare technologies is often contrasted negatively to hands-on, face-to-face care: telecare is seen as a loss of care, a dehumanization. Here we challenge this view, arguing that teleoperators in telecare services do provide care to older people, often at significant emotional cost to themselves. Based on a European Commission-funded ethnographic study of two English telecare monitoring centres, we argue that telecare is not ‘disembodied’ work, but a form of care performed through the use of voice, knowledge sharing and emotional labour or self-management. We also show, in distinction to discourses promoting telecare in the UK, that successful telecare relies on the existence of social networks and the availability of hands-on care. Telecare is not a substitute for, or the opposite of, hands-on care but is at its best interwoven with it.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/hm
Subjects:
ID Code:
54193
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 May 2012 12:53
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
07 Oct 2020 01:55