Robotics, Affective Displacement, and the Automation of Care

Casey R. Lynch, David Bissell, Lily A. House-Peters, Vincent J. Del Casino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent accounts of labor displacement highlight the automation of tasks in care work, long thought to require uniquely human skills. These developments call for a retheorization of displacement that addresses the shifting sites and relations of human labor, while also questioning the humanness of care. This intervention supplements a humanist concern for the displacement of discrete human bodies with a posthuman concern for the displacement of specific affective relations. The emerging robotic care industry illustrates how displacement involves complex reconfigurations of more-than-human intimacy. Developing a micropolitical understanding of technological displacement, we argue that caring as a sensory set of affective relations is being transformed by new regimes of robotic care, and this has crucial implications for theorizations of care, automation, and displacement in geography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-691
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Volume112
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • affect
  • automation
  • care
  • posthuman
  • robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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