Smart Living? Technology and the Ageing Subjects in China

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: Smart Living? Technology and the Ageing Subjects in China
Stream: Resilience
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Pak Lei Gladys Chong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong


This paper examines the management of the aging population through the lens of intimacy. National plans, such as “Made in China 2025”, “Internet Plus” and “Next Generational Artificial Intelligence Development Plan”, articulate China’s forward-looking modernization determination to a hi-tech powerhouse. This wholesale national technological development calls for the ambitious and creative minds, often associated with the youth. The functional youthful body and mind are mobilized outwardly for speed, growth and progress; whereas the aging and the aged are gradually withdrawn and relocated inwardly,and domestically. The spatial shift in the latter is both an effect as well as the condition that necessitates a shift in governmental rationalities and subsequently the practices of government. Drawing on ethnographic research that combines observations and semi-structured interviews with the 55 plus, this paper seeks to unpack how intimacy, as a normative construct, is mediated and shaped by technology in the domestic home environment among the aging subjects in urban China.

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