Visiting Scholars: Carla Greubel, PhD candidate at the Utrecht University

Her thesis project examines the different ideas of ‘good ageing’ in different contexts of elderly care and new technologies, including the ‘VinclesBCN’ project

Next May 19, the researcher will hold a seminar where she will present the first results of her study 

Carla Greubel is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University. Together with Professor Ellen H.M. Moors and Associate Professor Alexander Peine, she works on research situated in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Socio-Gerontechnology, with a focus on empirical ethics and feminist care literature. 

Her PhD thesis explores the different ideas of “good ageing” in three contexts of elderly care and new technologies: (1) the political discourse of the European Commission on the digitalization of health and care, (2) two projects in the context of new technologies and social care (GateKeeper and VinclesBCN), and (3) the daily routine of elderly people who participate as users in GateKeeper and VinclesBCN. The researcher seeks to understand what dynamics emerge when different ideas of aging well are pitted against each other, and how those dynamics change in every context of her research. 

During her research in Barcelona, Carla has collaborated with co-director of CareNet group, Daniel López Gómez (UOC), in the development of a small study focused on the users of VinclesBCN, a service offered by the Barcelona Town Hall for people over 65 years. The purpose and vision of VinclesBCN is to improve the well-being of the elderly by combating isolation and strengthening their social ties through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). 

The researcher has explored the ideas of “good ageing” promoted by this service and how its users put them into practice in their daily interactions. How are the ideas of good aging reflected in the technological design and in the way the service is delivered and used? What similarities and differences are observed between the ideas of ‘good ageing promoted by the service and those practiced by VinclesBCN users in their everyday lives? 

Focusing on people who participate the least or who have completely disengaged from the service, the researcher seeks to answer these questions and observe possible conflicts, frictions, and alignments. In short, she aims to analyze what kind of dynamics exist between different ideas of ‘ageing well’ and how these dynamics change between the level of ideas and the level of practices of aging well.

Next Thursday, May 19, Carla will be exposing the results of her work in a seminar that will take place in the Can Jaumeandreu building, in classroom 2, between 15:00 and 17:00h. 

About the researcher 

Carla Greubel is a Phd candidate at the Utrecht University. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at Maastricht University with additional projects for the Global Young Academy. At the same institution, she obtained her master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies (STS). In her MA thesis, she did an ethnographic study on the everyday sounds of technology in three residential care homes for the elderly in Germany. Carla is member of the Socio-Gerontechnology Network (SGN) and since July 2020, she is also an elected member of the SGN executive board. 

Carla Greubel

Predoctoral Researcher

Utrecht University


Tutor: Ellen H.M Moors. Alexander Peine

Start of stay: 14/03/2022

End of stay: 31/15/2022