Visual Representations of Digital Connectivity in Everyday Life
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This paper draws on data from the empirical study Photographing Everyday Life: Ageing, Lived Experiences, Time and Space funded by the ESRC, UK. The focus of the project was to explore the significance of the ordinary and day-to-day and focus on the everyday meanings, lived experiences, practical activities and social contexts in which people in mid to later life live their daily lives. The research involved a diverse sample of 62 women and men aged 50 years and over who took photographs of their different daily routines to create a weekly visual diary. This diary was then explored through in-depth photo-elicitation interviews to make visible the rhythms, patterns and meanings that underlie habitual and routinized everyday worlds. The data was analysed using the software Atlas Ti. The analysis highlighted: (1) the increasing importance of digital connectivity and the ways in which people in mid to later life actively engage (and resist) technologies of communication in their daily lives; and (2) the significance of embodied co-presence and the immediacy of shared space and/or time. Exploring the routines, meanings, and patterns that underpin everyday life has therefore enabled us to make visible how people build, maintain and experience their social and virtual connections, and the ways in which digital devices and information technologies are being incorporated into (and resisted) within daily life.
KeywordsAgeing digital Everyday life Social connections Space and time
This research was supported by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council / ESRC [grant number RES-061-25-0459] in the United Kingdom. We would like to thank our research participants for the generosity of their extensive time taken to participate in this research. Pseudonyms are given in this paper. Thank you also to our advisory group for their support and guidance, to Dr Veronika Williams who worked on earlier parts of the project, and to Dr Christina Silver for her invaluable technical and analytical support.
Copyright of Visual Images. Copyright for all the visual images published in this paper belongs to Dr Wendy Martin, Brunel University London, UK. Participants have provided written permission that the visual images can be published.
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