From Intervention to Co-constitution: New Directions in Theorizing about Aging and Technology

Alexander Peine*, Louis Neven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We propose directions for future research on aging and technology to address fundamental changes in the experience of later life that come with the “digitization” of societies. Our argument is contextualized by the massive investments of policy makers and companies in gerontechnologies and their failure to create scale and impact. Partly this failure is due to an interventionist logic that positions new technologies as interventions or solutions to the problems of aging. What has been overlooked – at least theoretically – is how aging is already co-constituted by gerontechnology design, the socio-material practices it enacts, and the policy discourse around them. Goals are (a) reviewing elements of the current aging and technology agenda, (b) demonstrating how the interventionist logic has hampered theory development (and practical impact), (c) pulling together key insights from the emerging body of empirical literature at the intersection of social gerontology and Science and Technology Studies (STS), with the objective of (d) providing directions for future research on aging and technology. Our argument presents the theoretical gains that can be made by combining insights from STS and social gerontology to research the co-constitution of aging and technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Gerontechnology
  • Innovation
  • Science and technology studies
  • Technology


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