(2012) Spiralling through change: a collaborative case study of older people engaging with new communication technologies through informal and formal learning

in QualitativeMary Hamilton, Lancaster University, UK

This paper reports on a collaborative research study among a small group of older adults at Lancaster University. The aim of the research was to generate ethnographic and case study data from a group of older adults using a collaborative methodology and to compare this data with media discourses of older people’s uses of technologies and literacies. The data explore different domains of social activity from local political participation to internet shopping; the experience of changing technologies across the lifespan; sponsors of learning including workplaces, businesses, adult education, intergenerational and cross cultural exchanges; issues of fear and trust, maintaining social contact; and the material factors that affect the ways in which different technologies for communication are taken up or rejected. It concludes that the dynamics of engagement with new technologies are driven by a complex of factors and social relationships that result in layered and changing uses of old and new technologies.

International Journal of Education and Ageing, Vol.2, No. 3, 181–196, September 2012, ISSN: 2044-5458


New communication technologies, adaptation. older adults. learning, collaborative research, social practice

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  • Hamilton, IJEA Vol 2 No 3.pdf

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