From Digital Divide to Digital Inclusion and Beyond

  • David Nemer Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing
Keywords: Digital Inclusion, Digital Divide, Citizenship, Education

Abstract

This literature review examines how scholars approached issues around the digital divide and moves on to analyzing initiatives to use digital technology to decrease the inequalities that exist between groups of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The intention is to highlight some useful references that are relevant in addressing how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used in different socioeconomic contexts. It presents references that follow several ideologies when approaching digital divide and digital inclusion. These ideologies go from providing physical access to a multifaceted approach of access that involves cognitive, economic, cultural and social factors, as well as differentiated uses of the internet.

Author Biography

David Nemer, Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing
In recent years, Brazilian policy has been informed by a techno-enthusiastic vision, as in the idea that access to using digital technologies (DTs) is a right of citizenship in the information age. Consequently, a number of programs have been instituted to promote access to DT use and decrease a perceived “digital divide.” However, numerous scholars have disputed such technological deterministic visions, which presume that mere access to DTs is sufficient to promote digital inclusion which in turn  leads to social and economic transformation. They argue that such approaches simply reflect pre-existing social divides and, sometime, even widen them.  David Nemmer’s research investigates Brazil’s access to DTs programs critically—how in practice they entail both potential and pitfalls. He is particularly concerned to illuminate the complex relationship between digital and social inclusion—whether such programs actually lead to social inclusion of the marginalized, if so, how, and in which dimensions (health, education, democracy, financial, etc.).  His method is qualitative exploration of LAN Houses and state-supported Telecentros located inside slums and low-income neighborhoods in the city of Vitoria.
Published
2015-04-14
How to Cite
Nemer, D. (2015). From Digital Divide to Digital Inclusion and Beyond. The Journal of Community Informatics, 11(1). Retrieved from http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/1030
Section
Reports