Graying the cyborg revisited: How age matters when technologies move under the skin

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    Feminist scholars were among the first to argue for the importance of including ageing and later life in STS research. Remarkably, most studies on technoscience and ageing only address technologies external to bodies. Although this scholarship has provided important insights into the many different ways in which technologies intersect with ageing I suggest that it is important to expand our analyses to technologies inside bodies. How can we understand ageing and agency in times when technologies become increasingly implanted in our bodies? In this article I will present three conceptual approaches that correspond to growing discussions at the cross-roads of STS, age and disability studies, and feminist scholarship, including cyborg theory, constructivist perspectives on vulnerability and resilience, and intersectional approaches. I will build on some of my previous theoretical and empirical work on pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (Oudshoorn 2015, 2020) to discuss how age matters when technologies move under the skin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-32
    Number of pages19
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


    • technology and ageing; graying the cyborg; technologies inside bodies; pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillators; vulnerability and resilience


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