I am a Senior Lecturer (equiv. to Assoc. Prof. in North America & EU) in Sociology at Monash University.
In 2019, I had the honor of being the Jacques Leclercq Chair in Digital Technology & Society at the University of Louvain, Belgium. In 2019, I was also named among the ABC’s Top 5 Scholars in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in Australia. In 2022, I was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) for my research on aging, technology, and loneliness.
Since 2012, I am an elected board member of the International Sociological Association (ISA), Committee on Family Research (RC06), leading a community of sociologists from 126 countries. The ISA was founded in 1949, under the auspices of UNESCO.
My research examines the links between social and digital inequalities in a life course perspective. I am interested in the role of emerging technologies in social inclusion and connectedness among older people (aged 65+). In particular, I focus on loneliness and social isolation in later life.
This research bridges Sociology and Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction), draws on qualitative and quantitative research methods, and is conducted in collaboration with aged-care institutions and practitioners. I am passionate about participatory research with older people and knowledge translation and mobilization.
My work has been awarded and recognized in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia. It has been used to improve the design of technology for older adults (Canada) and inform social policy (Portugal) and care practices (Canada, Australia).
My studies on loneliness and technology have been featured in media outlets across the globe, including TV, media, and press in Australia, North America, Europe, and Latin America. I have also delivered several national and international keynotes on loneliness, technology, and aging.
Prior to my current appointment at Monash University, I was a Lecturer (Assist. Prof) in Sociology at the University of Melbourne. Before moving to Australia, 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 interdisciplinary teams co-designing and co-testing technologies for/with older adults. I also taught social Research Methods 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 (MIT/CITIDEP).
My PhD research examined Internet usage and social capital. I was supervised by Professor Barry Wellman (Netlab, University of Toronto) and by Professors João Bilhim and Jaime R. Fonseca (University of Lisbon).
While conducting my PhD research, I was a visiting scholar at the Dept. of Media and Communication (IMK) of the University of Oslo (Norway, 2009-2011). In 2008, I was a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) SDP, University of Oxford.
If you want to contact me, I am available at barbara at bbneves.com. I am @barbaraneves on twitter.
What is Mushin?
Mushin (shortened from mushin no shin) means literally ‘no mindness’. 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.