Aging with Smartphones in Japan

My first book, Ageing with Smartphone in Japan (UCL Press, 2024), is about how changing experiences of later life intersect with the adoption of smartphones by older adults in Japan. It is based on 16 months of ethnographic research in urban Kyoto and in rural Kōchi Prefecture and follows people as they navigate social and personal shifts post-retirement, often while managing increasingly digitally-mediated forms of care. The book challenges a predominantly negative portrayal of digital communication,  showing how the rise of digital visual communication among people in their 50s and older opens new possibilities for sociality and proximity among friends and family. I show how older women and men negotiate oppressive structures within society, looking at how the smartphone at once challenges and perpetuates gender-based norms around care. 

The book presents a series of experimentations with graphic research methods, including co-created comics and participant drawings. I also incorporate my own fieldwork sketches and imaginative illustrations as openings to each chapter, inviting a moment of pause and reflection as they visually interweave themes that are threaded throughout the book.