How New Technology Provides Insight into the Lives of Urban-dwelling Older Adults

Yuen Speaker Series - Social Capital and Community : How New Technology Provides Insight into the Lives of Urban-dwelling Older Adults

The characteristics of the places where we age have profound consequences for our ability to adapt to change and maintain independence. Social capital, for instance, is believed to be central to health across the life course, but what is it, and how exactly does it matter?  Professor Kate Cagney’s new study will provide one example of the use of new technology to address fundamental questions in social capital accumulation, urban sociology and life course studies of health.  Older Chicagoans, carrying smartphones for GPS tracking and short surveys, provided information on the span and nature of their activities.  These data were then linked to Chicago-based sensor data, Array of Things, that allowed for additional analyses on factors such as traffic congestion and air quality.  This research describes the social/spatial environments in which older adults spend time (e.g., households, neighborhoods, networks) and how these activity spaces influence social connectedness and health.

Speaker Biography 

Kathleen Cagney
Professor of Health Studies, Sociology, and Comparative Human Development
The University of Chicago


6:30 p.m. Registration and Reception
7:00 p.m. Opening Remarks
7:05 p.m. Presentation by Prof. Kathleen Cagney
7:50 p.m. Q&A
8:00 p.m. Ends