Advertisement

Age(ism) in Digital Information Provision: The Case of Online Public Services for Older Adults

  • Maria SourbatiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9193)

Abstract

This paper draws on an empirical investigation of how older people are represented on the websites providing social care service information in the inner London Boroughs. My research questions follow the work of Loos [1, 2] on the relationship between representations of older age, information accessibility and access to digital services. Mirroring Loos and reflecting the specificities of the fieldwork my investigation found older people were largely invisible as a diverse group of citizens in the emerging cultures of digital public service. The images of older adults were few and lacked diversity. Inner London has an ethnically and culturally diverse population yet older adults were commonly represented though images of frail white women. The paper highlights representational politics of older age in digital public service information provision and their consequences for access and social inclusion; intra-generational diversity; ageism as a prevalent form of social discrimination.

Keywords

Age Ageism Access Inclusion Digital public service Intragenerational diversity 

References

  1. 1.
    Loos, E.: Senior citizens: digital immigrants in their own country? Observatorio (OBS*) J. 6(1), 1–23 (2012)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Loos, E.: Designing for dynamic diversity: representing various senior citizens in digital information sources. Observatorio (OBS*) J. 7(1), 21–45 (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hagberg, J.-E.: Being the oldest old in a shifting technology landscape. In: Loos, E., Haddon, L., Mante-Maijer, E. (eds.) Generational Use of New Media, pp. 89–106. Ashgate, Farnham (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Loos, E., Haddon, H., Mante-Meijer, E. (eds.): Generational Use of New Media. Ashgate, Farnham (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sourbati, M.: On older people, internet access and electronic service delivery: a study of sheltered homes. In: Loos, E.F., Haddon, L., Mante-Maijer, E.A. (eds.) The Social Dynamics of Information and Communication Technology, pp. 95–104. Ashgate, Aldershot (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Government Digital Strategy, December 2013 Update, Executive Summary (2013). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-digital-strategy/government-digital-strategy
  7. 7.
    Cabinet Office ‘Government’s approach to assisted digital’ Policy Paper, 4 December 2013 (2013). http://publications.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/digital/assisted/
  8. 8.
    Vincent, J.A.: Old Age. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, London (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Friemel, T.N.: The digital divide has grown old: determinants of a digital divide among seniors. In: New Media and Society (Online First), 12 June 2014Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prensky, M.: Digital natives digital immigrants. Horizon 9(5), 1–6 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Loos, E.: Generational use of new media and the (ir)relevance of age. In: Colombo, F., Fortunati, L. (eds.) Broadband Society and Generational Change, pp. 259–273. Peter Lang, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Loos, E.: In search of information on websites: a question of age? In: Stephanidis, C. (ed.) Universal Access in HCI, Part II, HCII 2011. LNCS, vol. 6766, pp. 196–204. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gregor, P., Newell, A.F., Zajicek, M.: Designing for dynamic diversity - interfaces for older people. In: Jacko, J.A. (eds.) ASSETS 2002 The Fifth International ACM Conference on Assistive Technologies, Edinburgh, Scotland, pp. 151–156, 8–10 July 2002. http://staff.computing.dundee.ac.uk//afn/pdf/2002%20Dynamic%20Diversity%20_with%20Mary%20Z_pdf. Accessed Dec 2013
  14. 14.
    Bouma, H.: Document and interface design for older citizens. In: Westendorp, P., Jansen, C., Punselie, R. (eds.) Interface Design & Document Design, pp. 67–80. Rodopi, Amsterdam (2000)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chisnell, D., Redish, J.: Modelling older adults for website design. In: Loos, E., Haddon, L., Mante-Meijer, E. (eds.) Generational Use of New Media. Ashgate, Farnham (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dannefer, D.: What’s in a name? an account of the neglect of variability in the study of ageing. In: Birren, J.E., Bengtson, V.L. (eds.) Emergent Theories of Ageing, pp. 356–384. Springer, New York (1988)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Office of National Statistics (ONS) Internet Access Quarterly update Q1 2014 (2014). http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/q1-2014/stb-ia-q1-2014.html#tab-Ethnic-Group
  18. 18.
    Sparks, C.: What is the “digital divide” and why is it important. Javnost – Public 20(2), 27–46 (2013). http://javnost-thepublic.org/issue/2013/2/ CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Office of National Statistics (ONS) Internet Access Quarterly update, Q2 (2013). http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/q2-2013/stb-ia-q2-2013.html#tab-Age-and-sex
  20. 20.
    Dutton, W.H., Grant, B., Groselj, D.: Oxford Internet Survey 2013 Report: Cultures of the internet. Oxford Internet Survey, OxIS (2013). http://oxis.oii.ox.ac.uk/reports
  21. 21.
    Hill, R., Dickinson, A., Arnott, J., Gregor, P., McIver, L.: Older users’ eye movements: experience counts. In: CHI 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada 7–12 May 2011 (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Art, Design and Media, College of Arts and HumanitiesUniversity of BrightonBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations