Cross-cultural aspects of ICT use by older people: preliminary results of a four-country ethnographical study

Authors.
Josep Blat (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Sergio Sayago (University of Dundee), Nicola Morelli (Aalborg University), Mirja Kälviäinen (North Karelia University of Applied Sciences), Francesca Rizzo (Politecnico di Milano)

Published in:
iHCI – Irish Human Computer Interaction Conference

Abstract:
Culture is crucial in understanding how people use technologies and designing better ones. However, very little is known about cross-cultural aspects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) use by older people (60+), despite an increasing ageing population. This short paper addresses this issue by drawing on an ethnographical study of ICT use conducted with over 120 people, aged 67-71, in four European countries: Finland, Denmark, Italy and Spain, over a 6-month period. The preliminary results show that making a social, independent and worth use of ICT are common aspects across the four countries, despite the so-called heterogeneity of older people as ICT users. This short paper also touches on two key aspects which emerged from the study, engaging older people in research and the evolution of barriers to technology use.

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Citation:
Blat, J., Sayago, S., Kälviäinen, M., Rizzo, F., Morelli, N. 2011. Cross-cultural aspects of ICT use by older people: preliminary results of a four-country ethnographical study, in Proceedings of iHCI2011, the Fifth Irish Human Computer Interaction Conference, 8th-9th September 2011, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland, pp: 9-13