Discourses of technology, ageing and participation

Fleming, Aysha, Mason, Claire, and Paxton, Gillian (2018) Discourses of technology, ageing and participation. Palgrave Communications, 4. 54.

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The proliferation of digital technology has brought about rapid social and economic change, the consequences of which have not been evenly distributed. Older people, in particular, tend to be less engaged with digital technology and as a result, are said to be at risk of 'digital exclusion'. In this paper, we explore how digital technology is discursively linked to ageing and social and economic participation. The analysis is based on 38 interviews with representatives of industry, government and civil society asked to share their views of the opportunities and risks associated with age and participation in the context of rapid developments in digital technology. Using discourse analysis we identify two competing ways interview participants made connections between digital technology and its perceived effects on the economic and social participation of an ageing population. In the first, digital technology drives human progress as a 'fix' to some of the social and economic challenges associated with ageing but also demands a cautious approach to minimise unforeseen negative consequences. In the second, digital technology is a tool, whose development can be driven by humans in order to solve a range of problems, including economic and social participation in later life. We consider the implications of these two discourses, discussing the potential of each for achieving a sense of empowerment in the ageing community and addressing the challenge of lifelong participation.

Item ID: 67745
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2055-1045
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2021 02:23
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470101 Communication studies @ 100%
SEO Codes: 22 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 2201 Communication technologies, systems and services > 220199 Communication technologies, systems and services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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