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Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2014.  Mobile Phones, Restrictions and Discontinuities. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on M4D Mobile Communication for Development: M4D 2014, General Tracks. :119-130., Dakar, Senegal: Karkstad University Abstract

By means of a qualitative approach I bring insights on the relationship older people (60+) have with mobile communication in a low income district of Lima (Peru). The case study I conducted in September 2013 included interviews and one focus group with 20 inhabitants of San Juan de Miraflores district. The user / non-user dichotomous classification turned out to be too narrow in this context.
While some participants reported a common, bidirectional use of the device, restrictions and discontinuities played a role.
Some described an asymmetric use of the mobile phone, as they used it exclusively for receiving calls, while never making outgoing calls. Others described discontinuities in ownership, which was the case when their mobile was stolen and the y could not replace it immediately. My initial hypothesis is that such restrictions are related to income, skills and age.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2013.  Deliberate missed calls: A meaningful communication practice for seniors? Mobile Media & Communication. 1(3):285-298. AbstractAbstract (Journal website)


In this article I discuss the phenomenon of deliberated missed calls and their intentional use by senior mobile phone users in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Deliberate missed calls (DMC) are made with the intention that the receiver is not to answer them. Although this multiregional and multicultural practice is described in different countries, no specific study has been carried out on its use by the older population. To address this absence, this article explores the significance of using deliberate missed calls among seniors. There are three main conclusions. First, personal abilities and external support shape the way seniors use DMC. Second, seniors may abandon, or at least redefine, the use of deliberate missed calls if they change to a flat-rate contract. Finally, the focus on an already old innovation such as DMC allows us to observe the importance of accounting for the heterogeneity of older people if we are to properly analyze their mobile communication practices.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2013.  Exploring the use of mobile communications in a retirement home in Toronto: Preliminary results. IN3 WP Series. WP12-006:29p. Abstractfull-text.pdfIN3 WP12

This paper describes preliminary results
of a qualitative case study on mobile
communication conducted in an elders’ retire
ment home in Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
in May 2012. This is part of an international research project on the relationship
between mobile communications and older people.
Secondary data at a Canadian level contex
tualizes the case study. We focus on
demographic characteristics and on adoption and use of information and
communication technologies (ICTs) broken by age.
Participants in the study (21 individuals) ar
e between 75 and 98 years of age, therefore
we can consider that the
gathered evidence refers to the ‘old’ older. Mobile phone
users in the sample describe very specific uses of the mobile phone, while non-users
report not facing external pressures for adopt
ing that technology. The main channel for
mediated communication is the landline; in consequences mobile phones –when
used– constitute an extra layer of comm
unication. Finally, when members of the
personal network of the individuals live abroad
they are more prone to use Internet and
Skype. We are also able to find ex-users of both mobile telephony and
computers/internet who stopped using thes
e technologies because they did not find
any use for them.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2013.  It's not about skills. It's about resources (as always). First UOC International Research Symposium. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; 2013, Dec. 18. Abstractmfa_lima_poster_symp18des2013_defweb.pdfUOC Symposium 2013 website

We still need to achieve a better understanding on the role mobile communication plays in older people’s everyday life, particularly in developing contexts. Beyond the dichotomous classification of users/non-users, research questions respond to the interest for describing relationships older people have it: How do older people use mobile phones, if they do? Who do they communicate with it and why? What are their motivations for not using mobile phones? What are the effects (if any) of economic constraints?

By means of a qualitative approach I bring insights on the issue. I analyze a sample of 20 older individuals (60+) living in San Juan de Miraflores, a low-income district of Lima (Peru). Fieldwork was conducted in September 2013 as part of a wider case study. Main tools for information gathering were semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Conversations were voice recorded and thematic analysis was conducted.

Younger seniors who had been using mobile phones for a number of years described more autonomous and sophisticated uses, while only older participants reported being assisted users. Some participants had the mobile phone exclusively for receiving calls. In this, they followed instructions of the daughter or son who was in charge of the (costs of the) device. Others suffered discontinuities in ownership when their recycled device broke down or got lost. They would like to have a mobile phone in the future, but this was not a priority. Finally, some participants were not interested on having a mobile phone.

In conclusion, it is not only skills what shapes effective use of mobile telephony – as interest on the technology plays a role. Most importantly, resource limitations also affect use and stand out as a source of asymmetry. While asymmetry is common in low-income segments, there are specificities related to the position of older individuals within their families.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Barrantes R, Agüero A.  2013.  Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas: A Case Study in Puno, Peru. Bruck and Rao, M. (eds.): Global Mobile: Applications and Innovations for the Worldwide Mobile Ecosystem . : Information Today, Inc Abstract

This in-depth case study provides insights into the value and impacts of mobile communication in rural areas, particularly among impoverished communities. In the rural areas of Puno, Peru, mobile phone usage was tracked among producers, traders, veterinary technicians, and young students. Prepaid subscription was the most common payment option, and sharing of mobile phones was not unusual. Mobiles were used for sharing social and business information, micro-coordination of activities, market expansion, and planning of livestock operations. Youth tended to use high-end phones for offline entertainment (games, music), and not for voice communication. The authors recommend that industry and government work together to make mobiles more affordable and network coverage more extensive.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Ivan L.  2013.  Older people and mobile communication in two European contexts. Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations. 15(3):83-98. AbstractFull text

We analyze the relationships seniors have with mobile communications in two different European contexts, Romania and Catalonia. By means of a qualitative approach, we describe the ways older individuals incorporate mobile phones in everyday life communication practices, and the motivations supporting these decisions.

To understand motivations for using a given communication device –as the mobile phone– we took into account the channels individual has access to; individual’s personal interest on using available devices in everyday communications; the location of the members of the individual’s personal network; and the pricing system that determines the cost of mediated communication.

The empirical analysis is based on two case studies conducted in Romania and in the metropolitan area of Barcelona (Catalonia) in different moments, between 2010 and 2012. Participants were 60 years old or over. Information was gathered by means of semi-structured interviews that were recorded and transcribed, while a common methodological design allows an enriched insight. Besides gender, we take into account heterogeneity of ageing for a more nuanced analysis.

This paper constitutes the first step in the exploration of common trends in the relationship seniors have with mobile communication in different European countries.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2013.  Older people and mobile communication: a case study in Montevideo (Uruguay). Preliminary results. IN3 Working Paper Series. WP13-001:28p. Abstractfull-text.pdfIN3 WP Series

This paper continues the series of case studies on mobile communication and older people in different cities. We present here the preliminary results of a case study of Montevideo (Uruguay), conducted in June 2012.
The paper discusses methodology, fieldwork and selected results. To facilitate result interpretation, contextualizing them, a first section discusses a set of secondary data on Uruguay regarding its demographic structure and the possession and use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
With ages ranging between 64 and 75 years old, all the participants lived in their own homes in the metropolitan area of Montevideo. Regarding mobile users (13), we discuss texting, mobile phone use while driving, and the role of the mobile phone at home. Regarding non-users (2), we analyze their profiles and their motivations. We also consider the relationship with Internet and computers (11 participants use them, while 4 do no). The paper ends with the section on discussion and conclusion.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2013.  Personas adultas mayores y comunicación móvil: La importancia de la voz y los SMS en Montevideo. Revista de Ciencias Sociales. 26(33):97-120. Abstractfull textFull_volume

Todavía sabemos poco sobre las formas de adopción, o rechazo, de la comunicación móvil por parte de las personas adultas mayores. ¿De qué manera utilizan la telefonía móvil? ¿Cuáles son los motivos de rechazo de este tipo de telefonía, si los hay?
Discutimos los resultados de un caso de estudio cualitativo con personas adultas mayores (60 años o más), desarrollado en el área metropolitana de Montevideo en 2012. Los y las participantes valoran la conectividad permanente que brinda el teléfono móvil. Lo utilizan en combinación con otros canales, como el teléfono fijo, para una diversidad de objetivos y con diferentes interlocutores. Además de las llamadas de voz, los SMS son de uso habitual. Entre los no usuarios encontramos tanto el discurso del rechazo como el de la indiferencia hacia el celular. Finalmente, todos los usuarios de Internet son, también, usuarios de teléfono celular.

Blanche Tarragó, D, Fernández-Ardèvol M.  2013.  Political participation of older adults: The Iaioflautas movement in Catalonia. First UOC International Research Symposium. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; 2013, Dec. 18. Abstractposter_iaioflautas_dbt-mfa_web.pdfUOC Symposium 2013 Website

Originally founded in the city of Barcelona in 2011, the Iaioflautas movement ( gathers elderly activist who wish to give voice to their demands in a non-institutional organization in adhesion to the wider 15M social movement. Although there has been some research lately on the political participation of senior citizens, no study has been yet published on the case of the Iaioflautas to date.

The main goal of this research is to examine patterns of the political participation of older people in Catalonia through the Iaioflautas organization. It is of our interest to inquire into their personal political trajectory over the lifespan, their participatory experience in Iaioflautas, the role of other actors in their political activity, and – last but not least – their use of (mobile) Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

To this end, fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the organization in Barcelona. Interviews were carried out by the first author between July and September 2013, spanning between 1 to 3 hours. Conversations allowed gaining insights of senior activist involvement, motivations and perceptions.

Preliminary results show, first of all, that most participants acknowledge moderate shift in their participatory patterns since the 15M movement uprising. They mostly hold vast experience in political participation, combining involvement in political parties, trade unions, and voluntary organizations. Second, participants describe mid-high to very high intensity of active engagement, and their motivations coincide greatly towards societal-level interests. Third, most of them manifest annoyance of negative social stereotyping of the elders; however, they perceive positive social reward due to their political involvement and their ICT uses. Finally, they remain skeptical regarding the possibilities of ICT as an enhancement tool for political participation opportunities for older people.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Daba-Buzoianu C, Ivan L.  2013.  Qualitative Research in Communication. Introductory remarks. Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations. 15(3):9-10. AbstractFull text

Introduction to the special issue of the journal, that gathers a selection of papers presented at the International Conference “Qualitative Research in Communication” celebrated in October 3-4, 2013 at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest (Romania).

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2012.  Jóvenes y prácticas comunicativas: Más allá de los datos estadísticos [Youth and communication practices: beyond statistic data]. In Pérez, L.; Nuez, C.; del Pozo, J. (coord.): Tecnologías de la Comunicación, Jóvenes y promoción de la salud. , Logroño: Gobierno de la Riojafernandez-ardevol_drojnet2012_p12-27.pdf
Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2012.  Missed Calls: Barcelona and Los Angeles compared. Technology & Emerging Media Track – Annual Conference of the Canadian Communication Association (Waterloo, May 30 -June 1, 2012). , Watterloo, Ontario: Canadian Communication Association AbstractAccess PDF

I discuss the phenomenon of missed calls and their intentional use by older mobile phone users in two different locations: Barcelona and Los Angeles. Deliberate missed calls (DMC) are made, with the intention that the receiver is not to answer them. They appeared as an innovative, low-cost communication practice. They constitute a limited form of communication, compared to voice calls, as there is no feedback from the receiver and, therefore, more uncertainty is involved. While youth, teenagers and children have been the main focus of scholarly attention in this field in developed countries, few studies have focused on elders. To address this absence, this paper explores the use of missed calls amongst senior individuals (60 years old and over). I describe the main purpose of this practice, the context in which it is used and the motivations for using it. The main conclusion is that elders communicate by means of missed calls if younger generations in their society do.

Barrantes, R, Fernández-Ardèvol M.  2012.  Mobile Phone Use among Market Traders at Fairs in Rural Peru. Information Technologies & International Development (ITID). 8(3):35-52. Abstractbarrantescaceres_fernandezardevol_2012_itidjournal_def.pdfITID Journal

We characterize market traders at two rural fairs in Puno, Peru, based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered in 2008, to gain insight into types of traders and the information needs that influence the degree to which they use mobile phones to make decisions regarding which weekly fairs to attend. Using variables such as origin, type of goods sold, means of transportation to the market, and reliance on networks, we identify traders as full-time traders, part-time traders, or subsistence traders, that is, people trading solely to survive. We find that when traders are already familiar with the technology, regularly rely on endogenous networks to make decisions, and have more to lose from failing to trade (e.g., those selling perishable goods), they are more likely to use mobile phones to decide where to sell.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Arroyo L.  2012.  Mobile telephony and older people: Exploring use and rejection. Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture. 3(1):9-24. Abstract

Age is a factor that has a bearing on the adoption and use of mobile telephony. Most
of the available evidence in the field focuses on teenagers and young adults. To make
up for the lack of research on older people, we explore the distinctive characteristics
of mobile phone use among senior citizens. Our research is set in Barcelona and its
metropolitan area (Catalonia, Spain). We analyse the role played by mobile telephony
in the personal system of communication channels for a sample of seniors in this
area. The sample includes non-users of mobile phones to give a better understanding
of the motivations behind adoption and rejection. We analyse the logic regarding the
adoption, or not, of mobile phones together with some of the particular features and
how older people appropriate them. A more comprehensive analysis takes account
of the available communication channels and individuals’ combined use of different
communication channels. We also suggest classifying older users of mobile phone.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2012.  Older population and mobile communication in Los Angeles. Preliminary results of a case study. IN3 Working Paper Series. 2012:1-26. AbstractAccess PDF

This paper introduces a qualitative case study on mobile communication among the older population (60+ years old) conducted in Great Los Angeles (CA, USA) in autumn 2011. Methodology, fieldwork and preliminary results are discussed. Before, country-level data is presented to better understand the specific characteristics of the studied individuals. The section focus is on demographics and on acceptance and use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Preliminary results show that within the sample under study (20 individuals) there is a high number of mobile phone users (15) while among non-mobile users (5), three of them decide to stop using this technology. A majority of mobile phone adopters describe a very limited use of the device for everyday life communications. Finally, while Internet is really popular within the sample (14 users), just 3 individuals go online through their mobile telephone.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Galperin H, Castells M,(dirs.).  2011.  Comunciación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel
Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Molinari A, Vázquez Grenno J.  2011.  Contexto socioeconómico y difusión de las TIC en América Latina. in Fernández-Ardèvol, M. Galperin, H.; Castells, M. (dirs.): Comunicación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina: 41-80. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel
Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Lladós Masllorens J.  2011.  Determinants of Science-Based Cooperation: Evidence in a Sample of Small and Micro Firms. Managing Global Transitions. 9(4):319-333. AbstractMGTI Journal (full paper)

We study the determining factors of science-based cooperation in the case of small and micro firms. In this research, we propose an analytical framework based on the resource-based view of the firm and we identify a set of organisational characteristics, which we classify as internal, external and structural factors. Each factor can be linked to at least one reason, from the firm’s point of view, to cooperate with universities and public research centres. Each reason can, in turn, be used as an indicator of a firm’s organisational needs or organisational capacities. In order to validate the theoretical model, we estimate a logistic regression that models the propensity to participate in science-based cooperation activities within a sample of 285 small and micro firms located in Barcelona. The results show the key role played by the absorptive capacity of new and small companies.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M, Vázquez Grenno J.  2011.  Estimación de la contribución de la telefonía móvil al crecimiento y reducción de la pobreza. Fernández-Ardèvol, M. Galperin, H.; Castells, M. (dirs.): Comunicación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina: 81-131. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel
Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2011.  Interactions with and through Mobile Phones: What about the Elderly Population? Wi: Journal of Mobile Media. Spring 2011 Abstractfernandezardevol_2011.pdfWi Journal (full text)

This paper explores the distinctive characteristics of mobile telephone use among the elderly population using the most recent European country-level data on individual use of mobile telephony and advanced mobile services, Eurostat 2008. Through a cluster analysis of mobile phone use data across 30 countries, it is possible to confirm that mobile telephone occupies a peripheral position for the elderly in Europe.

Barrantes, R, Fernández-Ardèvol M, Ureta S.  2011.  Introducción: La comunicación móvil y el desarrollo de América Latina en el siglo XXI. Fernández-Ardèvol, M. Galperin, H.; Castells, M. (dirs.): Comunicación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina: 21-40. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel
Barrantes, R, Agüero A, Fernández-Ardèvol M.  2011.  La telefonía móvil en el ámbito rural: Estudio de caso en Puno, Perú. Fernández-Ardèvol, M. Galperin, H.; Castells, M. (dirs.): Comunicación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina: 133-179. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel
Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2011.  Mobile Phones in a Retirement Home: Strategic Tools for Mediated Communication. In: El-Qawasmeh, E., Zain, J., Cherifi, H. DICTAP 2011, Part I, Communications in Computer and Information Science series. :395-406., Dijon Abstract

By means of a case study we explore how the residents of a retirement home use mobile telephony. This is part of wider research on mobile communication among the elderly population in the metropolitan area of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). A qualitative approach, based on semi-structured interviews, allows the exploration of social perceptions, representations and use of the technology to better understand the processes in operation here. We analyze the position that mobile telephony occupies in the personal system of communication channels (PSCC) and we observe that the mobile phone has
become a central channel and a strategic tool for seniors who have moved from their private household to a retirement home, while intensity of telephony use is kept low. Taking into account the available evidence on mobile appropriation in the golden age, the first results of the case study are presented and discussed here.

Fernández-Ardèvol, M.  2011.  Mobile Telephony among the Elders: first results of a qualitative approach. In: Isaías, P., Kommers, P. Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference e-Society 2011. :435-438., Lisbon: IADIS (International Association for Development of the Information Society) Abstract

By means of a qualitative approach we analyze the processes of adoption of mobile telephony within a sample of senior
individuals living in the metropolitan area of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). First results of an ongoing research allow us
to discuss the position mobile devices occupy within their personal system of communication channels and to indentify
different ways of appropriation and use.

Castells, M, Fernández-Ardèvol M, Galperin H.  2011.  Síntesis de resultados y conclusiones. Fernández-Ardèvol, M. Galperin, H.; Castells, M. (dirs.): Comunicación móvil y desarrollo económico y social en América Latina: 319-350. , Barcelona: Ed. Ariel