University of Hertfordshire


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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-65
Number of pages22
JournalCritical Social Policy
Early online date10 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


Telecare—services employing technology to monitor people’s movement, medication and home environment at a distance—has emerged as a key component of global social care and health policies. The relationship between policies about telecare and the experiences and aspirations of service users has been under-interrogated. This paper draws on findings from an organisational case study involving people living with complex conditions using various telecare devices and employs Hajer’s (1995) concept of argumentative discourse analysis to identify two key storylines arguing that telecare improves people’s quality of life and promotes independence. While these storylines point to seemingly logical and incontestable objectives, uncritical policy and practice fails to recognise and prioritise the aspirations of service users, leading to unintended consequences that can deepen people’s isolation and minimise organisational benefits.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Critical Social Policy, March 2018, published by SAGE Publishing. Content in the UH Research Archive is made available for personal research, educational, and non-commercial purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is protected by copyright, and in the absence of an open license, permissions for further re-use should be sought from the publisher, the author, or other copyright holder.

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