Has COVID-19 Changed Everything? Exploring Turns in Technology Discourses and Practices Related to Ageing

Francesco Miele, Francisco Nunes


Abstract: This article presents reflections resulting from the conference session “Dis-entangling Later Life: Ageing Processes, Innovative Practices and Critical Reflections”, organized in the context of the VIII STS Italia Conference. The paper expands the discussions from the session and touches on three topics regarding the multiple relationships between COVID-19, ageing and health, namely: (1) the decline of a hyper-responsibilizing rhetoric in the public sphere over the last decades, along with concepts of active ageing and successful ageing; (2) the reinforcement of the representation of ageing as a process with homogenous effects on population, transforming older adults into a social group characterized by shared frailties and needs; and (3) the growing role of public and third sector institutions in supporting older adults in the use of technology during the COVID-19 outbreak, expanding the network of involved actors. Proposals for future research paths are addressed in the conclusions, encouraging the further analysis of the topics discussed in the conference session.

Keywords: Ageing; COVID-19; discourses; practices; technology.

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