The Relationship Between Older Adults and ICTs: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies
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Older adults’ relationship with ICTs has been addressed by many disciplines and perspectives. Social research has focused at length on inequalities in terms of access and use, gradually overcoming an initial deterministic vision that used to negatively relate age with digital technologies. A recent systematic review of quantitative studies (Hunsaker - Hargittai, 2018) photographs improvements in terms of access, skills and uses among the elderly. A growth in qualitative studies has also been observed in recent years. Yet, they have been poorly systematised. In order to fill this gap, this article synthetizes the qualitative literature produced so far. Based on a systematic review fulfilled between November 2018 and January 2019, it synthetizes 25 studies identified from an initial collection of 237 articles. The reviewed body of literature is heterogeneous in relation to methodological issues and research domains. Empirical findings are indeed organized in four main categories: 1) features related to ICTs adoption, 2) variety of ICTs uses, 3) benefits related to ICTs uses and 4) digital learning. The article advocates the adoption of qualitative methods in this field of research. Given the growing diffusion of digital technologies, qualitative studies may indeed provide a deeper understanding about how ICTs have affected aging processes and older adults’ everyday lives.
keywordsAgeing, ICTs, Digital, Systematic review, Qualitative studies, Older adults.
Biografia dell'autoreFrancesco Bonifacio, Dipartimento di Sociologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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