Older people and mobile communication in two European contexts

Citation:
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.

Abstract:

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.

Full text