Gender, Capital Endowment and Digital Exclusion of Elderly in China

Juhua Yang , Renmin University of China
Susu Wang, Renmin University of China

In the era of rapid pace of population aging and progress of information and communications technology, smart electronic use can improve elders’ quality of life by helping them to stay connected, active and independent, which may increase their overall happiness and sense of social belonging. Taking a gender perspective, this paper aims to understand variations in digital exclusion among the elderly. Preliminary findings from the 2016 China Longitudinal Aging Social Survey suggest that digital exclusion varies by gender, and that rural female elders are most excluded, possibly due to their low capital endowment. The gender difference in digital divide is even more salient when other things being equal. Digital exclusion in the information era may exacerbate gender inequality, particularly for those already most vulnerable. Since digital inclusion is somewhat inherent in the concept of intelligent old-age support, solutions to help the elders be familiar with digital products will be identified.

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 Presented in Session 117. Gender Disparities in Later Life in Developing Countries