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The social shaping of television in old age
Lunds universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0563-3635
2006 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Various studies have highlighted older persons' problems in potentially failing to keep pace with developments in information technology and the latest technologies that prevent physical and social loss. In contrast to such studies that treat users as static and technology as changing, it's important to understand the use of technology can change over time. For example, older persons have used technologies like television for many years. How do these technologies, already integrated into peoples' lives, change their meaning over the life span? For many years international statistics have shown that television viewing increases over the adult life span. Most research has largely focused on TV content preferences and televised portrayals of the elderly. The basic understanding has been that TV viewing increase because old people spend more time at home excluded from the world outside and that they watch television because they have the time and opportunity to do so. Swedish studies on the importance of watching television in old people's everyday life show that television plays an important role for old people. It is not simply a substitute for doing other things but plays a role in helping individuals maintain a social relation to society. It also helps create a space for contemplation. Older persons use television to increase the space of negotiating meanings in old age. This process of interaction between ageing and technology changes over time. Using the concept of "subjective age," there is evidence that television viewing marks the transition from the third to the fourth age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
TV watching, information technology, routines, old people
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160211OAI: diva2:794920
Conference for the Society of Social Studies of Science, Vancouver, Canada, November 1-5, 2006

QC 20150325

Available from: 2015-03-13 Created: 2015-02-17 Last updated: 2015-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Östlund, Britt
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