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Senior South Koreans' difficulties in embracing the internet : Need for alternative approaches

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  • Senior South Koreans' difficulties in embracing the internet
  • Park, Youn-Min
  • Seoul National University(Graduate School of Public Administration)


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Title Senior South Koreans' difficulties in embracing the internet
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Sub Title

Need for alternative approaches

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Park, Youn-Min

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(Graduate School of Public Administration)

Date 2007
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Korean Journal of Policy Studies:vol. 22(no. 1)
Pages 18
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < IT
Social Development < Population
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

This study challenges the mainstream technocratic notion of the digital divide and its access-based policy solutions, which do not appreciate the different information-using capabilities, perceptions, and choices of the people concerned. This notion is examined through the lens of information as structured capital that requires Internet access to be complemented by people's information-using capabilities, inclinations, needs, knowledge, and beliefs, which must also complement each other to allow the effective use of information. Qualitative in-depth interviews with 30 senior South Koreans at a Senior Welfare Center suggest that the information capital possessed by these seniors is ill suited to responding to and taking advantage of Internet use. The social isolation of seniors provides them with neither incentives nor capabilities to restructure their information capital in the ways necessary for ongoing use. This finding sugests that digital divide policies for older people must shift their focus from technology per se toward more comprehensive approaches of dealing with the basic social needs of senior citizens.