Giovani anziani e ICT: tra rischi di isolamento e opportunità di invecchiamento attivo

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Ageing in western society has become a key issue in political and academic debate: politicians, sociologists, doctors, demographers, psychologists, economists are trying to understand how ageing will impact our future society (European Commission 2011). In this frame, media and communication technologies seem to be more and more relevant for the elderly, thanks to those services and devices helping people to grow old actively (Nimrod 2007) and receive better assistance (Olve, Vimarlung 2006). OssCom – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - conducts a research to investigate the relationship between the young elderly (65-74 y/o) and use of technologies (Sourbati, 2009), and to explore active ageing and the role played by media and ICTs in building a friendly and positively environment for the elderly, and in constructing and maintaining social relations and promoting healthy ageing (Olve, Vimarlung 2006). Further, the research aims to verify whether processes of media literacy and appropriation are influenced by forms of inter- and intra-generational exchange (Aroldi, Colombo, 2013). The research investigates the use of ICTs by the elderly by taking into account two different perspectives: - Generational approach: the young elderly (those aged between 65 and 74 years old) are here considered by looking at the role played by their generational identity in shaping their media use (Aroldi 2011). In particular, two factors need to be taken into account when considering this generation: the first depending on the stage of life; the second relating to the peculiar social experience that has characterized and characterizes this generation. Furthermore lengthening of life corresponds to a longer period of cohabitation between at least three generations (grandparents, children, grandchildren, see Boccacin, Bramanti 2012), and also of co-use of digital media. The research wants to investigate the role played by generational identity and also the relations between generations (grandparents and grandchildren; young people and older people) in order to understand the dynamics of intergenerational mutuality in the use of technologies and ICTs (Aroldi, Colombo 2013). - Domestication and leisure: the young elderly here investigated are characterized by the high percentage of non-workers (housewives, retirees) (Zenini 2009): these elderly have a significant amount of free time that they pass mainly at home (Nimrod 2007) consuming media (Istat 2009). Media consumption is spatially and temporally located and media uses and routines are shared within the household and are enabled by processes of domestication (Silverstone-Hirsch, 1992). The domestic contexts (and familiar relationships) seem to be crucial for the adoption of new technologies: domestication theory offers the opportunity to frame the adoption of a new digital media not as single event, but as outcome of a media consumption biography (Pasquali, Scifo, Vittadini 2010). The research, lasting 1 year, is based on (1) an in-depth theoretical study about ageing, (2) a preliminary survey with a representative sample of the Italian “young elderlies” (65-74 years) about ICTs equipment and usage (N=900), (3) a field-work which consists of 20 family interviews in Milan area. Preliminary results show that (1) processes of ICTs domestication are basically influenced by personal biography of the elderly (previous job, intra- and inter-generational relationship, familiar contexts) and not only by age or other socio-demographic characteristics (gender, income, education) (Loose 2011); (2) ICTs and Internet have a significant impact on elderly everyday life and spatio-temporal domestic routines; (3) ICTs and Internet seems to be a good opportunity for a better and active ageing (e.g. in terms of improvement of social relations, information, entertainment), but even a risk in terms of social isolation inside and outside family.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Young elderly and ICT: between isolation risks and active aging opportunities
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)89-108
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • ICT
  • anziani
  • domestication
  • generazioni
  • invecchiamento attivo


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