Studies on the Use of Technical Assistants in Dementia Care

The project “Media Practices and Intercorporeality” aims to develop a social-theoretical contribution to new practices of intersubjective understanding. The empirical subjects of the project are observable interactions in the context of (professional) geriatric care, in which technical-therapeutic assistants, such as the robotic seal Paro, are also used. First, multimodal sequence analyses of interactions between people with dementia and technical assistants will be carried out. In addition to a detailed description of the interactional events, these sequence analyses can reveal generative principles of intersubjective understanding and implicit intercorporeal media practices in dealing with technical assistants that are "seen but unnoticed" by the actors themselves. Secondly, the empirical results are to be questioned regarding their implications for media theory. Which media properties of "artificial" sociality are capable of practically "promoting" understanding in the context of socio-cognitive and techno-cultural differences? Thirdly, the empirical results and media-theoretical considerations will be transferred into a social-theoretical contribution on the practical foundations of intersubjectivity.