Journal article

Digital Technology and Older People: Towards a Sociological Approach to Technology Adoption in Later Life

BB Neves, G Mead

Sociology | Published : 2020

Abstract

Despite increasing social pressure to use new digital technologies, older people’s adoption of them remains below other age groups. This article contributes a sociological dimension to exploring what facilitates learning and using digital technology in later life. We focus on the understudied group of older people who are frail, living in care homes and most likely to be digitally excluded or restricted. Drawing on data from a longitudinal mixed methods study of a co-designed communication app for older people, we explore how attempts to bridge the ‘digital divide’ unfold in time. Using the concept of affordances, we show how adoption of a new communication technology is shaped by its design..

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