Chinese older adults’ social media use: A study of WeChat from a social practice perspective

Brad McKenna, Wenjie Cai, Hyunsun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Purpose: Research into older adults' use of social media remains limited. Driven by increasing digitalisation in China, the authors focus on Chinese older adults (aged 60–75)’ use of WeChat. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a qualitative interpretive approach and interviewed Chinese older adults to uncover their social practices of WeChat use in everyday life. Findings: By using social practice theory (SPT), the paper unfolds Chinese older adults' social practices of WeChat use in everyday life and reveals how they adopt and resist the drastic changes in Chinese society. Originality/value: The study contributes to new understandings of SPT from technology use by emphasising the dynamic characteristics of its three elements. The authors synthesise both adoptions and resistance in SPT and highlight the importance of understanding three elements interdependently within specific contexts, which are conditioned by structure and agency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology & People
Early online date10 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2023


  • Chinese
  • Older adults
  • Qualitative
  • Social media
  • Social practice theory
  • WeChat

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