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Title: Internet adoption among older people : a birth cohort study
Author: Hill, Rebecca
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this research is to investigate the process of Internet adoption among a cohort of older people who reached their formative years historically prior to the public emergence of the Internet, and who have gained no previous exposure to the Internet in their educational and working lives. This research is based on an ethnographic research study of a number of participants who attended one-off, introductory Internet workshops. It is situated within an interpretive paradigm. The research involved a follow-up of research participants approximately six months after their workshop attendance. This research employs Everett Rogers' (2003) theory of the Diffusion of Innovations, and draws on diverse literatures from Information Systems, Sociology, Gerontology and Gerontechnology. It investigates why the aforementioned cohort of older people may be adopting (or rejecting) the Internet; how they are adopting; and how this process can occur over time. It also proposes a potential means for accelerating Internet adoption among older people. The results of this research reveal that the process of Internet adoption characterising this specific cohort can be long and complex, and can be shaped by social network ties. The influence of strong ties was most evident, but weak ties were also important. The influence of both strong and weak ties is emphasised in the proposal of community networks and of intra- and intergenerational partnerships, which are recommended as community-based, 'home-from-home' environments in which older people (and other social groups) can 'trial' the Internet and observe it in use by others.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available