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Senior Citizens’ ICT Access, Use and Literacy: How Material Resources Matter
Lund University, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4908-9061
Linnéuniversitetet, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: ECREA 2016 Abstract Book, Prague: C-IN , 2016, 37-37 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

According to international statistics, Sweden is one of the world’s most internet connected nations. The most recent data reveal that approximately 90per cent of all Swedes have online access through various devices, such as computers and/or mobile phones. The fact that online access is widespread hasbeen interpreted as a useful opportunity. Among governmental agencies it has been referred to as an opportunity to make public services more availableand effective. Also healthcare has become a part of this. With the advent of online portals for health information and communication, Swedish healthcareagencies hope to be able to provide better services, but also to make their contacts with care seekers and patients more efficient. The ambition to make allkinds of societal services more accessible and effective via online applications presupposes a number of important prerequisites. It presupposes widespreadaccess to devices and ICT-applications. It further presupposes that all citizens, who are the inscribed users, have competence and skills enough to also makeuse of them. For research, senior citizens make up a specifically interesting category of citizens in this context. They have lived through the transformationsfrom analogue to digital services and are also expected to start to adapt to them. According to general, national statistics, however, their levels of access toand use of ICT-applications are clearly lower than for younger people. Meanwhile, senior citizens are by no means a coherent group of ICT-users. Hence, it isvital to attend to differences between and similarities within the overall category “senior citizens” in order to gain insights into what these transformationsmean in terms of “inclusion in” or potential “exclusion from” for varying groups of citizens. In this paper we depart from and aim to further develop the conceptmaterial resources (Murdoch et al., 1992; Warschauer, 2003; Olsson, 2007) – here measured by an index including household income and home ownership– when analysing different groups of senior citizens as ICT users. To what extent do senior citizens’ varying access to material resources influence…• …their access to various ICT-devices (computers, smart phones, iPads, etc.)? • …the ways in which these devices are put to use? • …their perceivedlevels of ICT-literacy? The paper presents and analyses data from a recent Swedish survey (November 2015-January 2016). Data are derived from a nationalSRS of 2000 senior citizens (+65 years), with a response rate of 64 percent. Out initial analyses reveal that access to material resources are influencing allof the above mentioned aspects (access to devices, use of devices, perceived literacy, and more). The correlation is, as expected, positive: with increasingresources, follows increasing access, use and sense of literacy. In the light of these data the paper problematizes emerging patterns of digital inclusion andexclusion among senior citizens and their potential societal consequences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Prague: C-IN , 2016. 37-37 p.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-36922ISBN: 978-80-906655-0-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-36922DiVA: diva2:1134135
Conference
6th European Communication Conference : Mediated (Dis)Continuities : Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures, Prague, 9-12 November, 2016.
Available from: 2017-08-18 Created: 2017-08-18 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved

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