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Visions of Future Technology and the Catastrophic Event: Robotics and “Demographic Crisis” in Japan

June 17, 2013 - 15:00-15:45

Guest lecture by visiting researcher Shawn Bender

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Japan, this paper explores how Japanese roboticists use the specter of an aging society to legitimize their research and robots in the face of criticism and failure. The paper argues first that through this legitimation the concept of an “aging society” shifts from a mere description of a projected future to a discursive apparatus that helps direct investment and rationalize intervention in the present. It examines further how vulnerable such projections are to the force of contemporary events.

Shawn Bender is Associate Professor at Department of East Asian Studies, Dickinson College. He is in Copenhagen to do his research which is an ethnographic study of the use of Japanese robotics technologies for therapy in Danish nursing homes. This builds on work that was carried out in Japan and in Denmark last year.

Venue: NIAS, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copehagen K

Visions of Future Technology and the Catastrophic Event: Robotics and “Demographic Crisis” in Japan

Details

Date:
June 17, 2013
Time:
15:00-15:45