Spacetimematter of aging – The material temporalities of later life

Vera Gallistl*, Anna Wanka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Material gerontology poses the question of how aging processes are co-constituted in relation to different forms of (human and non-human) materiality. This paper makes a novel contribution by asking when aging processes are co-constituted and how these temporalities of aging are entangled with different forms of materiality. In this paper, we explore the entanglements of temporality and materiality in shaping later life by framing them as spacetimematters (Barad, 2013). By drawing on empirical examples from data from a qualitative case study in a long-term care (LTC) facility, we ask how the entanglement of materiality and temporality of a fall-detection sensor co-constitutes aging. We focus on two types of material temporality that came to matter in age-boundary-making practices at this site: the material temporality of a technology-in-training and the material temporality of (false) alarms. Both are interwoven, produced and reproduced through spacetimematterings that established age-boundaries. Against the backdrop of these findings, we propose to understand age(ing) as a situated, distributed, more-than-human process of practices: It emerges in an assemblage of technological innovation discourses, problematizations of demographic change, digitized and analog practices of care and caring, bodily functioning, daily routines, institutionalized spaces and much more. Finally, we discuss the role power plays in those spacetimematterings of aging and conclude with a research outlook for material gerontology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101182
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Algorithms
  • Boundary-making practices
  • Long-term care
  • Materiality
  • Temporality
  • Technology
  • Humans
  • Aging
  • Qualitative Research
  • Geriatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health (social science)
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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