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Who is Telecaring Whom? Exploring the total social organisation of care work in an Italian Municipality

Wilson, R and Baines, S and Martin, M and Richter, P and McLoughlin, I and Maniatopoulos, G (2017) Who is Telecaring Whom? Exploring the total social organisation of care work in an Italian Municipality. New Technology, Work and Employment, 32 (3). pp. 268-282. ISSN 0268-1072

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Abstract

Telecare’ refers to the use of digital or information and communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate health and social care delivery to individuals in their homes. This article explores the phenomenon by foregrounding its interconnections with work activities, paid and unpaid. It draws on research as a part of the design and deployment of a set of telecare innovations for older people in an Italian municipality. The project was conceived at the outset in terms of formal inter- relationships between functions and components of technical systems. Technical setbacks, however, were resolved only by enrolling the active support of groups and individuals (including civil society organisations and older people). By situating a telecare intervention conceptually within the ‘total social organisation of labour’ (TSOL), we provide an analysis that contributes to understanding how a socio-technical infrastructural approach to telecare reveals ways to improve our understanding of how formal and informal care systems interact.

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