Growing old with media technology and the material experience of ageing

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During the 20th and 21st century, media such as radio, telephone, television, computers and cell phones moved into everyday life as taken-for-granted elements. Based on observations and life-history interviews with 22 older women, this article discusses how media technology is materially involved in the experience of growing old. The analysis reveals two aspects of this. First, different technology stands out from its background presence as problematic because the media no longer enable the experiences they used to. Second, disconnects with and through media technology direct attention towards the declining body. The participants embody ‘old age’ by linking their experience with media to two cultural constructions of material ageing: generation and natural ageing. I argue that inasmuch as everyday life has become mediatized, the experience of growing old also takes place with and through media technology. This article forms part of ‘Media and the Ageing Body’ Special Issue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 161007338