Politics, Civil Society and Participation: Media and Communications in a Transforming Environment

Title chapter: Remaining divides: Access to and use of ICTs among elderly citizens
Author: Tobias Olsson and Dino Viscovi
Keywords: ICT-access; ICT-use; senior citizens; domestication; pilot study
Abstract: The ambition to make all kinds of societal services, public as well as commercial ones, more effective and accessible via online applications is reoccurring all over the western world. To a large extent, such ambitions hold the promise to make citizensí everyday lives easier, but they are, however, also problematic in that they presuppose a number of important prerequisites. They presuppose widespread access to ICT-applications of a standard that is fast and solid enough to manage to make users actually make use of these services. They further presuppose that all citizens and consumers, who are the inscribed users of these applications, have enough competences and skills to make use of them. Hence, there is an obvious risk that people who do not have access are being left behind in the transformations of these services from analogue to digital. In this chapter we attend to these risks by paying attention to contemporary patterns of access to, and use of, digital applications. The chapter is inspired by domestication theory and looks into and analyses different patterns of ICT access and use among Swedish senior citizens, with the following questions in mind: What ICT-devices do various groups of senior citizens have access to? To what extent do they make everyday use of them? For what purposes do they use these devices? The empirical material has been derived from a pilot survey which was conducted from August to September 2015.
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