Age and technology in digital inclusion policy: A study of Italy and the UK

Simone Carlo, Maria Sourbati

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The role of media and communication technologies in increasing the quality of life of the elderly is today a key topic in academic and policy debates. This article discusses findings from a study into the way public policy frames the role of technologies in later life. The aim of our study was to critically investigate the policy discourses on ‘old age’ and on the role of digital ICT in fixing challenges associated with ageing. Our focus was on digital inclusion policies of the UK and Italy, two countries experiencing similar trends in population ageing but different ICT diffusion patterns. We found that an age-based understanding of digital technology use was quite common, as was an enthusiastic embracing of the role of digital ICT in the implementation of Active Ageing and Information Society goals. We also found that the understanding of the role of digital technology and its relationship to (old) age has been changing over the last decade, starting to reflect social complexity as ICT diffusion increases among older age groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number26
    Pages (from-to)107-127
    Number of pages20
    JournalESSACHESS – Journal for Communication Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020


    • age
    • active ageing
    • ICT
    • digital divide
    • digital inclusion
    • Older people
    • public policy


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