I am employed at Centre for Healthy Ageing – an interdisciplinary research centre focusing on the challenges of an ageing society. I am part of the program Innovation and Dissemination in which we focus on the cultural anthropological aspects of healthy ageing, working together with disciplines ranging from neurologists to epidemiologists to sociologists. - I am part of the interdisciplinary innovation partnership No Age. In the sub-partnership The Meeting Place we try to develop innovative welfare technologies for communities of elderly persons, and technologies that can facilitate meetings and be part of creating communities for the elderly. I conduct ethnographic fieldwork on activity centres and in the homes of elderly persons, which is used as user insights in the innovation process.
- This fieldwork I also use for my Ph.D.-project. The project is called Technologies and Communities for the active elderly. I focus on how notions of activity and community are used and practiced at activity centres for elderly. Ideas of prevention through exercise and extending ‘time left’ are ways of organizing and creating communities. The ‘in common’ of the community is age (time lived) and an expectation of extending ‘time left’ through communal activities. Thus, ‘time left’ and ‘time lived’ are substantial parts of these communities. I use technology as everything from information technology to ‘a way of doing something’. With this I also see community as a technology, i.e. as ‘a way of being together’.
- My background is in European ethnology and anthropology.
I am currently writing up a Ph.D. entitled "From engagement to enforcement and back again; re-claiming community from disappointment and exhaustion", which takes a critical perspective on the interpretation of community and 'informal controls' on behaviour within Anglo-Foucauldian 'governmentality' studies. The PhD builds upon research carried out with 'Friends Groups'; community organisations focused upon particular green spaces. Through the work of Bernard Stiegler and Jacques Rancière the thesis investigates the technical and aesthetic particularities of Friends' practices, before drawing these observations into a theory of community and the 'in-common' in line with Jean-Luc Nancy's concept of the 'inoperative' community.
In my own research temporalities of community formation and retention have been central concerns. A frequent problem for Friends Groups is the difficulty of forming long-term circuits of community involvement from short-term 'threats', while conversely an enduring presence of community is often forged from one-off events. Where groups focus upon the formation of a community presence as a form of behavioural control, this relies upon an authority forged as the temporality of an enduring care for a space. I have sought by looking at Stiegler to examine the technical (the discourses, strategies, plans and calculations that shape community practice) composition of community involvement, examining as such the temporality of community as it is located in technical circuits of care and education.
Sam's Pecha Kucha Presentation
I am a postgraduate student in sociology at the University of Manchester awarded with a studentship by CRESC. After receiving my MA from Ball State University (USA), I taught sociology in Kyrgyzstan. Some of my subsequent research has been on dynamics of bride kidnapping, youth and technology, and methodological issues of doing research in post-soviet Eurasia. My doctoral researchis a multi-local ethnographic study of the transnational family in contemporary Kyrgyzstan. It aims to focus on the effects of increasing outmigration on those who stay behind. My dissertation will contribute to literature on the sociology of family and transformative processes that are affecting kinship obligations and responsibilities. On a theoretical level, I am interested in examining the changing notions of what constitutes the family today, which is often oversimplified. With geographical distance, families are experiencing new ways of relating to each other, often finding themselves belonging temporarily to multi-localities, stretching social networks across borders, and yet that is becoming increasingly possible due to advancing technologies that enable family members to stay in touch and show care and affection for those who are left behind in ways that was not possible only a few decades ago. Recent studies propose that kinship and family obligations that were common in the pre-soviet and soviet times are today considered “a financial burden” and “a social inconvenience,” transforming the nature of familyhood. Therefore, people’s reactions to improve their economic situation is also boosted by local competitions of keeping up with families in communities where engaging in life-cycle events and activities rendered significant, sticking to social networks and structures of indebtedness.
I'm Lecturer in Future Media in the School of Media, Music and Performance at the university of Salford. Trained to be a sociologist who largely uses qualitative research methodologies and methods and experienced in interdisciplinary research, my main work has investigated user participatory cultures and community-based innovation, especially the socio-technical dynamics in those communities that develop open source technologies and services (hardware and/or software). Membership of these open innovation communities is usually loosely defined, such that whoever share the same interest or a constellation of practices (in the sense of “a community of practice”) can be part of the community. Interactions in these communities are often socio-technical: members not only interact with each other but also with technologies (software, source code, infrastructures, computers, hardware). Also, members of these communities usually are not constrained by geographical locations. As such, inventing, adopting and learning to manipulate new information and communication technologies to facilitate collaboration and communication between members is key to the success of community building. Time is an interesting element in these communities in several aspects and through this workshop I am hoping to develop methodologies and conceptual frameworks for understanding the role of time in this body of work.
Yuwei's Lightning Talk