Aging: The Two Faces of Janus in Digital Inclusion?

Panayiota Tsatsou


Does aging present the two faces of Janus when it comes to digital inclusion, influencing older people’s digital inclusion in some cases, but not in others? This article presents qualitative research and finds that older people—namely, men and women at least 65 years of age—are highly selective in the digital domain, and diversity marks their attitudes toward and uses and critiques of digital technologies. Thus, older people’s digital inclusion is marked by intragenerational diversity, in which a complex interplay of structural/external and individual/internal factors exists and aging plays a context- and life-experience–driven role. Thus, this article supports a psychosocial approach that views age identity as formed not only by biology, but also on the basis of sociocultural and other systemic factors that are integrated and adapted and create varying differences at the level of the individual. The article closes with theoretical and empirical recommendations for future research on the role of aging in older people’s digital inclusion.


activity theory, aging, digital inclusion, disengagement theory, focus groups, intragenerational diversity

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