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Everyday coping with technology

Turner, Phil; Turner, Susan


Phil Turner

Susan Turner


We report an empirical investigation of Borgmann’s observation that people are fixed in the range of relationships they can have with technology based on their prior familiarity with it. This technological horizon might serve to constrain the kinds of technology, in any context, older people might find acceptable and usable. Our study involved people drawn from three age bands 16-25, 35-45 and 55+ years who were probed as to their first experiences of technology, their experiences of technology at work and home and their expectations of technologies in the future. In all, we found, across all age groups, limited evidence for technological horizons as relatively fixed boundaries. However we did find a growing homogeneity of experience across work, home and leisure and people coping well with the demands with new and emerging technology. People cope with technology because they are familiar with it. We argue that our everyday familiarity enables us to cope with technology and this coping is a unifying and ultimately empowering phenomenon.

Working Paper Type Working Paper
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Aug 30, 2010
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2010
Keywords Technological horizon; Borgmann; coping; homogeneity;
Public URL
Contract Date Aug 30, 2010


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