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Title: Active ageing with music and technology : meaningful participation and the situated use of technology in community music
Author: Mao, Mao
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 9825
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Scholars and commentators have long advocated the benefits of communal artistic activity for the ageing population. The notion of "Active Ageing" also brings a new angle to the understanding of challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies. In this dissertation, I argue that recognising community music practices and technology use as situated action provides opportunities to grasp the subtleties of social participation and technology use for active ageing. Qualitative and quantitative enquiries were used to (i) uncover the experiences of meaningful participation and the situated use of technology in community music; (ii) unpack the psychological basis of meaningful participation that is sustained by technology use. Drawing on social practice theory by Elizabeth Shove and the situated action approach by Lucy Suchman, this dissertation contributes a productive context of technology use to the richly researched area of community music with older people, and illuminates the complexities of community music practices and the ways in which technological devices coordinate the practices and the implications for active ageing. Two empirical chapters address the two research goals, respectively. Chapter 3 uses qualitative methods and identifies music practices mediated by technology, such as music sharing and revisiting, and how these practices evolve through the reconfiguration of connections between technological devices, competence, meanings, and forward-facing identities. Identity development, via routes such as exercising control, role transitions and social spaces, has psychological significance and implications for the broader concept of active ageing. Building on these findings, we further elucidate how self-efficacy (an exemplar of competence) and motivation (an exemplar of meaning) are associated with the use of digital music technologies (an exemplar of technologies for community music participation) in Chapter 4. Two sets of use patterns that emerge from the quantitative survey data, Contributing and Active interacting, further lend support to the qualitative data. The use of digital music technologies was not determined exclusively by age and employment status, but also by music group memberships and music-technology-specific self-efficacy. Getting social connectedness was a key motivation for more frequent use and sharing using digital music technologies. These results also suggest that age is relevant in thinking about why technology is used in the participants' particular ways. Drawing upon these findings, I wrote about how HCI can leverage the tenets of active ageing and might facilitate older people's meaningful participation in community activities with digital music technologies.
Supervisor: Good, David Sponsor: Cambridge Trust ; CSC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Active Ageing ; Older Adults ; Participation ; Community Music ; Technology Use ; Social Practice Theory ; Situated Action