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Older active users of ICTs make sense of their engagement
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Welfare and Lifecourse)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7624-1033
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Welfare and Lifecourse)
2017 (English)In: Seminar.net: Media, technology and lifelong learning, ISSN 1504-4831, E-ISSN 1504-4831, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on older people’s ICT usage tends to focus on either the ways in which they go about learning to use these technologies or the impact that ICTs have on their lives. This research seems, in other words, to take for granted that older people are ‘digital immigrants’ as the digital divide debate proposed. Research that specifically looks at the ways in which older ICT users make sense of their engagement with these technologies is still limited. This article explores therefore – through focus group interviews – how a group of older people who are active ICT users make sense of their ‘digital nativeness’. The analysis shows that the interviewees are well aware that their ICT proficiency differentiated them from their peers, which is why they make sense of their ICT usage by making reference to the issues that make them ‘exceptional’ older people. These include the fact that they have used computers for many years and therefore made ICT usage an everyday habit early on; the fact that most older people do not have the skills that they themselves have, which is why they feel the need to share them with others; and the fact that their lifelong experience means they can use these technologies in judicious ways. By bringing attention to how older active ICT users make sense of their engagement, this article contributes to the notion of the digital spectrum and the debate on the inequalities that ICT proficiency brings about.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 13, no 1, p. 1-17
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353470OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353470DiVA, id: diva2:1217462
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved

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https://journals.hioa.no/index.php/seminar/article/view/2297/2090

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Kania-Lundholm, MagdalenaTorres, Sandra

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