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Message posted on 24/02/2023

New book: Robots Won't Save Japan: An Ethnography of Eldercare Automation

With apologies for any cross-posting

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that my book, Robots Won't Save Japan: An Ethnography of Eldercare Automation, is now out with Cornell University Press.

For anyone interested, there is a 30% discount using the code 09BCARD for orders from the Cornell University Press website: Robots Won't Save Japan by James Wright | Hardcover | Cornell University Press . Please feel free to share with your networks.

Book description:

Robots Won't Save Japan addresses the Japanese government's efforts to develop care robots in response to the challenges of an aging population, rising demand for eldercare, and a critical shortage of care workers. Drawing on ethnographic research at key sites of Japanese robot development and implementation, James Wright reveals how such devices are likely to transform the practices, organization, meanings, and ethics of caregiving if implemented at scale.

This new form of techno-welfare state that Japan is prototyping involves a reconfiguration of care that deskills and devalues care work and reduces opportunities for human social interaction and relationship building. Moreover, contrary to expectations that care robots will save labor and reduce health care expenditures, robots cost more money and require additional human labor to tend to the machines. As Wright shows, robots alone will not rescue Japan from its care crisis. The attempts to implement robot care instead point to the importance of looking beyond such techno-fixes to consider how to support rather than undermine the human times, spaces, and relationships necessary for sustainably cultivating good care.

If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best regards,


-- Dr James Wright Research Associate The Alan Turing Institute

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