I am a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Melbourne, studying the social effects of digital technology and teaching introduction to sociology, sociology of technology, and quantitative research methods. In addition, I am the Jacques Leclercq Chair in Digital Technology & Society (2019) at UCLouvain, Belgium.
I am an elected board member of the International Sociological Association (ISA), Committee on Family Research (RC06), since 2012, leading a diverse community of sociologists. The ISA was founded in 1949, under the auspices of UNESCO, and has members from 126 countries.
My research examines the links between social and digital inequalities in a life course perspective – from young to old adulthood. In particular, I have been studying the role of digital technologies in enhancing social inclusion and connectedness among older people (aged 65+). This work bridges Sociology and Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction), draws on interdisciplinary qualitative and quantitative research methods, and is conducted in collaboration with aged-care institutions, practitioners, designers, and other industry partners. I am passionated about participatory research with older people and knowledge translation and mobilization.
My work has been honored with scientific & innovation awards and nominations in Japan, USA, Canada, and Portugal, as well as international keynotes. It has been used to improve the design of technology for older adults (Canada) and inform social policy (Portugal) and care practices (Canada). You can find it in reports, top-tier publications, and featured in the Canadian, Portuguese, and Brazilian media (TV, radio, and press).
Prior to my current appointment at the University of Melbourne, I was an Associate Director and Research Associate of the ‘Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab’ (TAGlab) at the University of Toronto, Dept. of Computer Science. At TAGlab, I was leading an interdisciplinary team studying the ways in which digital technology can be developed, adopted, and used by frail institutionalized older adults to enhance inclusion, connection, and quality of life. I also taught social research methods (quantitative and qualitative) for computer scientists.
Previously, I was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Lisbon (ISCSP-UL) where I taught and conducted research on sociology of technology, aging, social capital, and research methods. I continue to collaborate with the Centre for Public Administration & Policies (CAPP, ISCSP) at the University of Lisbon and the eplanning lab at the University of Aveiro (MIT/CITIDEP).
My PhD was undertaken at the Technical University of Lisbon (now University of Lisbon), while I was a visiting doctoral student at Netlab, University of Toronto. My PhD research examined Internet usage and social capital in Lisbon. At the University of Toronto, I was supervised by Professor Barry Wellman (Netlab).
From 2009 to 2011, I was a visiting scholar at the Dept. of Media and Communication (IMK) of the University of Oslo (Norway). In 2008, I was a doctoral student at the Summer Doctoral Program (SDP) of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford.
If you want to contact me, I am available at barbara at bbneves.com. I am @barbaraneves on twitter.
Mushin (shortened from mushin no shin) means literally “no mindedness”. In martial arts, it’s a cognitive state, where the mind is not focused on anything and therefore is open to everything. As I love Shaolin movies, I use it to describe a basic principle of research: having an open mind.