On SAGE Insight: Researching new media and social diversity in later life: How older people ‘do’ media

From New Media & Society

As people get older, they face an increasingly complex world largely on their own, using technology in general and media in particular to navigate the white-water of later life. In this review, authors have argued that studies of new media and society can contribute to shedding light on inequalities in later life by deploying perspectives and methodologies that are sensitized towards social and cultural differences among older people.  They propose three key interventions: developing a focus on social stratification and inequality broadly conceived; designing research with a life course perspective rather than reducing people to age groups; and focusing empirical work looking at the various ways people ‘do’ media in an ensemblematic way.

Abstract

As societies are ageing and mediatizing at the same time, it becomes both timely and relevant to develop particular perspectives on the role and meaning of media for older people. The diversity and inequality in the lived experience of the ageing population in the new media environment constitute a blind spot in current research. In this essay, we bring literatures of (cultural) ageing studies and (new) media studies into conversation with each other by asking what future directions for research on older people and their media lives from the particular perspective of social diversity could be. We propose three key interventions: developing a focus on social stratification and inequality broadly conceived; designing research with a life course perspective rather than reducing people to age groups; and focusing empirical work looking at the various ways people ‘do’ media in an ensemblematic way.

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Article details
Review Essay:
Cecilie Givskov and Mark Deuze
Researching new media and social diversity in later life
New Media & Society 1461444816663949, first published on August 12, 2016 doi:10.1177/1461444816663949

 

     
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