Ageing, Communication, Technologies (ACT): Experiencing a Digital World In Later Life is a seven-year project led by Kim Sawchuk, a professor in Communication Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. The partnership received a partnership grant of $2.99 million from Social Science and Humanities Research Centre of Canada. The University of Brighton is a partner in this collaboration and Lesley Murray is a Co-Investigator
Kim Sawchuk, who is the grant’s principal investigator, explained that what makes this research project special is that it doesn’t reduce aging to health issues. Along with the project’s co-founders, Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, a researcher from the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), a research centre of the Open University of Catalonia (Spain); Barbara Crow, the interim dean and associate vice-president of York University’s graduate program in Communication and Culture; and Line Grenier, professor in the department of communication at Université de Montréal, Sawchuk is bringing together 12 universities, seven research institutes, seven community partners, 17 co-applicants and 18 collaborators.
The partnership aims to transform public discourse about ageing while including older adults as active agents and collaborators in the research agenda. ACT will develop curricula and provide a lasting collaborative platform for the theorization and critical analysis of the relationship between aging and digital worlds.
It’s important for us to incorporate seniors into the project, so we are working with groups like RECAA (Respecting Elders: Communities Against Abuse), who do forum theatre and we are investigating topics such as how to collect more relevant statistics for older adults who are usually lumped into one category over 50, and how listening to music is changing for older adults because of changes in digital distribution through iTunes.
ACT will achieve these goals through creative collaborations and exhibitions with older adults, as well as virtual seminars, summer schools, face-to-face network meetings and pilot projects that investigate new research questions, concepts and knowledge production. A robust new website will disseminate results, reports and upcoming events.
Visit the ACT project website