“For older folks like me, these things are over us…”: the challenge of embedding tablet computers in everyday life within a geriatric hospital in Uruguay
information and communication technology, older people, Uruguay, computer, tablets, sociotechnical network, seniors, hospital, self-perception, ICTs
Much research has focused on the introduction of information and communication technology (ICTs) into the lives of older people, but it has generally understood them as external factors who act as a sort of independent variable that impacts the seniors’ lives. There remains a dearth of empirical research into how aging and technology are co-constructed, namely, research that focuses on older people’s relationship to technology as a socio-technical network. We therefore contribute to this field by analyzing the development and establishment of a network in a geriatric hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay has been developing a one-tablet computer-per low-income-senior policy since 2015. In this research, we deployed a qualitative ethnographic research comprised of semi-structured interviews, jottings, and field notes where we explore the adoption of tablets within the corresponding actor-network. Our findings suggest that objectively, not only was the establishment of the sociotechnical network rife with complexities, disruptions, and fissures, but subjectively, seniors in the hospital were heavily influenced by their self-perception of the potentialities of ICTs.
Castleton, A., Cid, A. & Silva, D. (2020). ‘For older folks like me, these things are over us…’: The challenge of embedding tablet computers in everyday life within a geriatric hospital in Uruguay. Educational Gerontology, 46(4), 167-181. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2020.1720321
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