Marginalization of older adults is a long-time and pervasive fact of society. Technology use can make older adults feel less marginalized by connecting them socially, such as with communication technologies. However, older adults on average are less technology literate than younger adults; this can add to feelings of marginalization. In this study, I analyzed structured open-ended interviews and found unexpected instances of marginalization towards older adults related to technology; for example, older adults are most likely to withstand marginalized comments from their own adult children and family members. I applied politeness theory and the stereotype embodiment model to the coded interviews and found close relationships, such as with family and friends, are responsible for a clear majority of negative talk towards older adults about technology. The stereotype embodiment model explains why older adults tolerate this negative and marginalizing talk from their friends and family.
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Watson, Keefe, "Technology and the Marginalization of Older Adults: How Politeness Theory and Stereotype Embodiment Interact in Older Adults' Technology Use" (2018). Honors Projects. 360.