Ageing and the Digital Life Course, edited by David Prendergast and Chiara Garattini
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This excellent collection of readings addresses the role of technology in an ageing society, mainly through the eyes of social scientists and medical researchers using ethnographic studies of technology use. Falling broadly into the field of gerontechnology, the writings are concerned with the use of technology to improve the health and wellbeing of older people in particular. However, unlike many works in that area, they are critical of overly optimistic predictions about the value of new technologies, and more realistic about the challenges of making technology accessible, attractive and useful to people, and having it fit within everyday behaviours and broader healthcare systems. At the same time, the empirical attention to the use of technology, explodes numerous myths about the reticence of older people to engage with it. The book shows many older people to be frequent users of email and social networking systems, avid gamers, on-line shoppers and web surfers; open to exotic...