Skip to main content

Experiencing a digital world in later life

Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT) is a multi-methodological research project that brings together researchers and institutional and community partners to address the transformation of the experiences of ageing with the proliferation of new forms of mediated communications in networked societies. ACT is comprised of researchers, students, and community and institutional partners from around the world. Together, we are investigating how ‘digital ageism’ – the individual and systemic biases that create forms of inclusion and exclusion that are age-related – operates in subtle ways at this time. Through our collective and collaborative research, we provide an analysis that comes from our engagement with individuals and communities of elders and suggest strategies for change.

It is a critical and exciting moment to embark on new ways of understanding the intersection of ageing and digital technologies. The world’s population is ageing. One in four people are expected to be over the age of 65 in the next two decades, making ‘the senior citizen’ the largest demographic group in the Western World. At the same time that we are expected to live longer, there has been a proliferation of digital devices, information technologies and mediated systems of communication that network populations globally. How ageing populations, and those in later life, are experiencing a world that is increasingly mediated by the proliferation of digital devices is the primary focus of our research project.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Wendy Martin
Dr Wendy Martin - Wendy’s research focuses on the social and cultural aspects of ageing.  This includes the digital and ageing, the body and embodiment, care and caring, memory and ageing, materiality and rhythms and everyday life. Her research is qualitative and includes the use of visual, material and digital methods in ageing research. Wendy is co-convenor of the interdisciplinary Ageing Studies research group and founding member of the Living Avatars research group within the university.   As the Department Director for Postgraduate Research (PGR), Wendy oversees all the doctoral research in the Department of Health Sciences. She is an experienced supervisor for doctoral researchers and has acted as an internal and external examiner and Chair for PhDs Vivas.  Wendy's research has been supported by a range of funders including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), The Leverhulme Trust, The Dunhill Medical Trust and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).  A key dimension of her research is disseminating to a wide and diverse array of audiences and the public engagement of her research can be viewed through photographic exhibitions that have emerged from her research.   Wendy is an elected Executive Member of the British Society of Gerontology and an elected Executive Board member (Events Chair) of the interdisciplinary International Network of Socio-Gerontechnology.  She is a member of the Editorial Board for the Ageing and Society journal and Electoral College Member and Regional Liaison for Europe for Journal of Global Ageing. She has previously served on the Editorial Boards of the Sociological Research Online  and Sociology journals.   Wendy is Co-Editor of the Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology, for which a 2nd edition has been commissioned, and for the edited Routledge book Socio-gerontechnology: Interdisciplinary Critical Studies of Ageing and Technology.  The focus of her teaching is on the MSc Public Health and Health Promotion and has involved leading both the programme and key modules, such as, health and society, research methods and the dissertation.  Wendy has extensive experience in curriculum development and is a Recognised Programme Developer within the university. Other key roles that Wendy has undertaken within the university include Programme Leader, MSc Public Health and Health Promotion, Recognised Programme Developer that resulted in internal and external validation of new programmes across the university, Chair of Board of Studies, Chair of Exam Boards and Panels, Department Ethics Officer and as Vice Chancellor Representative for Misconduct and Appeals. Qualifications: PhD (2008) Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. ESRC funded. Thesis ‘Embodying ‘active’ ageing: health, bodies and emotions in later life’. MA (with distinction) in Sociological Research in Health Care. University of Warwick (1999). ESRC funded. BSc (First Class Honours) Sociology and Anthropology. Oxford Brookes University (1997) Registered General Nurse. St. Mary’s Hospital, London (1986) Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. University of Reading (2011)

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/11/2023