Digital inclusion: an analysis of social disadvantage and the information society.
Department for Communities and Local Government, London, UK.
This report was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Research on the links between the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and social and economic development has been undertaken for decades. Evidence of links between social and digital engagement, particularly with respect to the Internet, has been the focus of many studies conducted by academic as well as government institutions. These studies have shown consistently that individuals who have access to ICTs, from the telephone to the Internet, tend to have more schooling, higher incomes, and higher status occupations than do those who do not have access. This holds true within nations as well as cross-nationally, as evidenced by results from the World Internet Project However, despite the evidence, there remains significant debate around the existence, nature and causality of these links. This study has tackled these issues and developed new models of digital and social exclusion. It offers a robust analytic framework that is applicable to different survey datasets and can be adapted to new and emerging technologies. The report presents how the models can be applied to existing datasets to explore the implications for future policy.
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