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Title: Older people and the use of ICTs to communicate with children and grandchildren
Author: Ivan, Loredana
Fernández Ardèvol, Mireia
Others: National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
Keywords: older people use of ICT
motivation in using ICT
mediated communication for older people
grandparents-grandchildren communication
uses and gratifications theory
Issue Date: 7-Feb-2016
Publisher: Transnational Social Review: A social work journal
Citation: Ivan, L. & Fernández-Ardèvol, M. (2017). Older people and the use of ICTs to communicate with children and grandchildren. Transnational Social Review: A social work journal, 7(1), 41-55. doi: 10.1080/21931674.2016.1277861
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Abstract: In this research we explore older people's incentives to use Internet services to communicate with their children and grandchildren, and the factors that make older individuals stop using (or even reject) Internet-mediated communications. We apply the uses and gratifications theory, and the gratification niche of medium concept to understand the way people return to less sophisticated tools of communication once the marginal utility is lost. Our analysis is based on empirical evidence the two authors gathered in a set of case studies. We conducted semi-structured interviews with people aged 60 and over in Barcelona, Romania (Bucharest and rural areas), Toronto, Los Angeles, Montevideo, and Lima. The results show that communicating with children and grandchildren when families get separated is an important motivator that 'pushes' the elderly to learn more about the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). We emphasize the fact that once motivation is lost (i.e. when family members are back home) the interest in using a particular technology to communicate is diminished, therefore older people might stop using it. We argue for a more dynamic model of technology appropriation for this age group that includes successive stages: ignoring, appropriation, rejection, and re-appropriation.
Language: English
Appears in Collections:Articles

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