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Title: A qualitative study exploring the perceptions of older people about their social participation in the online world relative to their social participation in the physical world
Author: Jose, Besty
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 8655
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2019
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Addressing the issues raised by the ageing population, valuing the contribution of older people in the society and improving their quality of life are some important challenges of the modern society. Social participation is important to people for ageing well in later life. Staying socially active can help older people to maintain good physical and emotional health and well-being and cognitive function. However, participation in social activities seems to decrease with age due to physical disability, illness, loss of family and friends, loss of community and perceived lack of opportunities. However, the demographic shift of the twenty-first century coincided with the digital revolution and resulted in the emergence of a new world for participation called the online world. The online world provides opportunities for older people to take part in social activities similar to the physical world and it has changed the way people can communicate and interact with each other. The number of older people using these opportunities was relatively low compared to the other age groups. However, recent years have remarked tremendous growth in the number of older people making use of these opportunities. Therefore, this study explored the perceptions of older people about their social participation in the online world relative to their social participation in the physical world. Qualitative research approach with a generic qualitative design was used to address the research questions. Twenty semi-structured intensive face-to-face interviews were carried out to collect the data. Thematic analysis was carried out to generate the themes that address the research question. The results revealed the integration of the online world into the lifestyle of the people. The participants in this study perceived the online world as an addition to their lives, providing more opportunities to participate in different activities. The study also identified areas that need more attention to keep and attract older people into the online world. Furthermore, the study identified that older people using the online world experienced improved social connectedness and subjective well-being. The findings of this research will inform the areas to be improved for better online world experiences for older people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available