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Thursday, May 12 • 1:45pm - 2:00pm
Technoliterate Lives

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Nearly 30 years after the genesis of the world wide web, internet and computer literacies are still often conceptualized through an all-or-nothing binary. 15 years after its publication, Marc Prensky's 2001 framework of "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" remains a powerful metaphor frequently employed to describe this binary opposition: users are either "digital natives" born into a wired world, or "digital immigrants" who struggle to learn to navigate the land of the internet and communicate in its strange new language as non-native speakers of tech.

This presentation aims to complicate the conception of a digital native/immigrant divide by examining the technoliterate lives of older adults—articulating the preliminary results of an ongoing ethnographic study of computer and internet users, age 60+, in a Florida retirement community. The data and reflections gathered thus far reflect that digital literacy development and practice continues across a lifetime, and, as the speaker will argue, is an integral component of the civic, intellectual, social, and cultural participation of older adults in American society. With this study, the speaker adds to the understanding of digital literacy and engagement by starting inquiry from the lives of an important community that has remained largely un(der)examined by both humanities and technology scholars. To conclude, the speaker will make a case for a broader understanding of intersectionality, that encompasses not only race, gender, class, and sexuality, but also age as an important element of identity and category of analysis, particularly within a constantly wired and increasingly aging American population.


Thursday May 12, 2016 1:45pm - 2:00pm MST
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Arts and Media, Long Paper
  • Session Location COOR 195