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ERIC Number: ED526521
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3865-5
Older Japanese Adults and Mobile Phones: An Applied Ethnographic Study
Hachiya, Kumiko
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
This qualitative research investigates the meaning of "keitai" (mobile phones) for older Japanese adults between the ages of 59 and 79. Participants' emails from keitai, handwritten daily logs, and audio and video recordings from meetings and interviews were collected during my stay of nearly seven months in one of the largest cities in Japan. Latour's Actor-Network-Theory, Garfinkel's ethnomethodology, the process theories of A. N. Whitehead and Kitaro Nishida, and "embodied interaction" of Paul Dourish were used for data analysis. All these theorists take similar, nonpositivist positions that support the phenomenologist or constructivist view that social reality is mutually constructed. The aging of Japan's population is advancing as Japanese baby boomers are getting older and the birthrate is low, and the government is concerned about how to bear the financial burden of increased pension payments and increasing medical costs for aging retirees with a much smaller work force as a tax base. The government has been building a high-speed broadband infrastructure since 2000 to streamline its services through the Internet; the majority of the aging population is not online. As the backdrop of this situation, Internet access via keitai started in 1999 and took the youth by storm, as Internet access from PC was not generally available; however, people over 65 years were not a part of this trend. For young people, keitai is no longer a telephone but a media tool, and its written name is expressed with westernized katakana, which suggests something modern and foreign. This dissertation explores the relations of people and technology, specifically, older Japanese adults and keitai in an urban setting. My thesis is that we are living in a dynamic, interrelated network of humans and non-humans, and our cultural and social activities cannot be separated from our artifacts, such as keitai. Through the use of keitai, one's meaning of keitai changes and the new digital culture becomes a part of older adults' culture, and they can understand and participate in further development of the digital culture. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan