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Ageing with Smartphones in Japan

Care in a visual digital age

Laura Haapio-Kirk

£50.00

ISBN: 9781787355781

Publication: August 29, 2024

Series: Ageing with Smartphones

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Older adults in Japan, one of the most ageing countries in the world, are starting to adopt the smartphone. What does this mean for friendship, gendered labour, multigenerational living, internal migration, health and indeed purpose in life (ikigai)? Based on 16 months of ethnographic research in urban Kyoto and in rural Kōchi Prefecture, Ageing with Smartphones in Japan follows people as they navigate social and personal shifts post-retirement.

Examining how older women and men negotiate oppressive structures within society, the smartphone emerges as both challenging and perpetuating gender-based norms around care. In witnessing the response of older adults to the wider context of societal ageing and the various forms of precarity that it can engender, this book observes how people creatively navigate the challenges and opportunities of later life to define their own experience of ageing.

The rise of digital visual communication among people in their 50s and older opens new possibilities for sociality and proximity among friends and family. It also presents a methodological challenge for researchers. This book responds with a series of graphic methodological experimentations, including co-created comics, participant drawings, and the author’s own fieldwork sketches and imaginative illustrations, to explore this fundamental shift in communication towards digital images.

Praise for Ageing with Smartphones in Japan
‘An excellent and thoughtful book on ageing in Japan, focusing on the use of smartphones, but not limited to it. The truly innovative use of graphic and multimodal ethnography is not only effective but also showcases such methods for others.’
Iza Kavedžija, University of Cambridge

‘Highly original, extensively researched and thought-provoking, Haapio-Kirk rewards the reader with lively story-telling and beautifully crafted images that invite another level of sensory and emotional engagement – an impressive achievement.’
Jason Danely, Oxford Brookes University

Laura Haapio-Kirk is a Junior Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at Christ Church, University of Oxford.

List of figures
Preface
Series foreword
Acknowledgements

1 Introduction
2 Experiences of ageing: beyond categories
3 Everyday life: gendered labour and non-retirement
4 Social relations: sustaining mutual forms of care (yui)
5 Crafting the smartphone: visual digital communication
6 Health: self-tracking and warm contact
7 Rural Japan: between decline and rejuvenation
8 Purpose in life: 'ikigai’ through the life course
9 Conclusion

References
Index

‘Highly original, extensively researched and thought-provoking, Haapio-Kirk rewards the reader with lively story-telling and beautifully crafted images that invite another level of sensory and emotional engagement – an impressive achievement.’
Jason Danely, Oxford Brookes University


 

‘An excellent and thoughtful book on ageing in Japan, focusing on the use of smartphones, but not limited to it. The truly innovative use of graphic and multimodal ethnography is not only effective but also showcases such methods for others.’
Iza Kavedžija, University of Cambridge


 

Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

308 Pages

2 maps, 20 line drawings, and 22 colour photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781787355781

Publication: August 29, 2024

Series: Ageing with Smartphones

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