“It could be useful but not for me at the moment”. Older people, internet access, and public service provision
Sourbati, M. (2009) “It could be useful but not for me at the moment”. Older people, internet access, and public service provision New Media and Society, 11 (7). 1083-1100 . ISSN 1461-4448
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Official URL: http://nms.sagepub.com/content/11/7/1083.short
Older people are commonly constructed as a group of heavy users of public services that misses out on opportunities presented online, mainly due to age-related barriers to accessing the internet. Drawing on a study of internet access in sheltered homes for older people, this article argues for the need to focus electronic service provision around the needs, preferences and abilities of the users of public services. A user-centred perspective in e-government and e-service provision requires an understanding of the socially shaped and locally situated nature of media use, which can in turn help prevent the tendency to see chronological age as the sole factor determining (non-) engagement with the internet. It also requires investment in making available assistance and support to access online digital media in order to prevent the disadvantaging of vulnerable service users. Keywords Age, e-government, e-public services, internet access, older people
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