Panel on: Global Perspectives and Partnership on the Information and Communication Technology Divide

Susan B. Kretchmer, Rod Carveth, Karen Riggs
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
This paper explores the contours of old age as it meets up with new technologies in contexts of work. Old age is a problematic field, always subject to renegotiation of meaning due to changes in life expectancy and never more so than in the critical first three decades of the 21st century, when the proportion of older people is dramatically increasing, with the West in the lead. I attempt to provide a context in which scholars, activists, and others might begin talking about the changing role of work for older adults in a hightech economy. Instead of offering a statistical breakdown that can be generalized to our entire older adult population, it tells the stories of real people associated with this complex set of concerns, demonstrating how difficult it is to paint any definitive sort of portrait of aging in American culture. Its primary usefulness might be in the recognition it offers for us that, like the rest of us who are reeling from the velocity at which change is arriving in contemporary life, elders are facing myriad tensions, consequences, and challenges and are meeting these with varying outcomes.
age, aging, work, technology, cultural studies, disability, phenomenology
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