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date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the ways heterogeneous groups of older individuals appropriate mobile devices, the meanings of these uses, and the paramount role of the smartphone. Images, text messages, and voice messages have become key elements of (asynchronous) communication. In contexts where smartphones are pervasive, expectations and pressures come from relatives and peers, shaping mobile practices and associated learning processes. The chapter also analyzes the causes and consequences of non-use and limited use as the digital divide affects older people significantly. Finally, it discusses the need for non-patronizing empirical research going beyond health-centered perspectives, enabling a better understanding of the multiple dimensions of the mobile revolution and favoring an inclusive design of products, services, and policies.

Keywords: older people, heterogeneity, mobile communication, mobile practice, smartphone, digital divide, use, non-use

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