Towards Digital Equity

hong kong presentationOn January 10-11 2019, I participated at the International Symposium “Wellbeing and Inequality in the Digital Age: New challenges and new possibilities” Lingnam University, Hong Kong.

The symposium, very well attended, posed interesting questions:

How will technological change impact on life chances, wellbeing and social inequality?

Is a digital society ‘smart’ for all, or exclusionary for many-and in what ways?

How is technology reshaping the social policy agenda?

What does new technology offer in terms of new ways to deliver policies and to better inform citizens?
I presented a paper titled “Towards Digital Equity” in which I argued that “digital inclusion projects”, regardless their public or private nature, aim to create an inclusive society in which no-one is left behind.

Here my abstract:

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The three levels of digital divide in East EU countries

World of MediMassimo Ragnedda and Hanna Kreitem (2018) The three levels of digital divide in East EU countries, World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 4. 5-26.

This article brings to light significant insights into the three levels of digital divide in the particular setting of East EU. It discusses and analyses indicators related to the spread and use of the Internet (first level of digital divide), the level of digital skills (second level of digital divide), and digital services used by citizens in East EU countries to improve their quality of life (third level of digital divide). The article specifically focuses on the third level of digital divide, by analysing, on a macro level, three tangible outcomes, namely eGovernment service completion and use, eHealth in terms of seeking health related information and interacting with practitioners online, and eCommerce. Data from Eurostat, including digital scorecard and other reports, showed clear discrepancies among countries of East Europe, as well as distinct difference between some countries and overall European Union averages, suggesting the existence of two groups of countries, one as high performance in terms of services offered and high growth in terms of use, and the second is at medium performance in terms of services offered, and low in terms of growth and use.

Download it here

Are you interested in doing a Phd at Northumbria University, Newcastle?

Northumbria-University-Newcastle-LogoAre you interested in doing a Ph.D at Northumbria University, Newcastle? I am currently looking for strong candidates interested in bringing fresh perspectives to debates around the forms of digital and social inclusion and sketch a concept of inclusion and inequality in the digital sphere. The successful candidate will develop innovative ways through which to study how to counter social inequalities through digital inclusion. The successful researcher will use a case study approach to explore the ways in which digital literacy and digital skills programmes work together to challenge social inequalities and to propose a more nuanced understanding of how social and digital inclusion are related.  I am open to applications bringing a variety of interpretations and suggesting different case study examples to this broad topic. Candidates should have an interest in equality issues and digital technologies. This project will be suitable for candidates with an MA or MFA in mass communication, media and sociology. Researcher who can bridge two or more of the above disciplines will be particularly well placed to apply for this doctoral studentship.

If you are interested please get in touch with me: massimo.ragnedda @

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Deadline for applications: Friday 25 January 2019

Start Date: 1 October 2019

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IAMCR 2019: Abstract submission system is now open

did-logo-optimalYou can submit your abstract (both individual and panel proposals are welcome) any time starting from today until February 8, 2019. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

The overarching conference theme in 2019 is “Communication, Technology, and Human Dignity: Disputed Rights, Contested Truths”. The theme addresses issues of human rights and dignity in a modern globalized world, where ICTs and artificial intelligence are influencing the way human rights are currently understood, promoted and protected. The theme seeks to explore the role of information and communication technologies in both supporting and subverting the exercise of rights and the achievement of universal dignity. It also argues that such rights as the right to voice and visibility, to have one’s experiences and ideas fairly represented in public sphere, to have access to the comprehensive information are now gaining a status of fundamental rights in the society.

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Digital Divide, Inequalities and Capital

DsWbf3cWwAEzBIrIt has been a great pleasure to present my latest research about digital inequalities and the Third Level of Digital Divide at the Department of Sociology, at the University of Istanbul (Turkey). In particular, I have introduce the new concept of Digital Capital, seen as bourdieusian capital. I am  currently carrying out an empirical investigation to measure the level of Digital Capital and to see how it interacts with the other five capitals (Social, Cultural, Political, Personal and Economic). The next step will be to carry out a comparative analysis between UK and other countries, including Turkey. This is what we have been discussing during my visit in Istanbul and we are continuing to discuss it. Similar discussions are going on with other colleagues from different Universities around the world, including Spain, Italy, Finland and Russia.

The Digital Divide: Inequality in The Age Of The Internet

The Digital Divide Inequality In The Age Of The Internet Guest Blog The Equality Trust (1)This is my brief post for The Equality Trust. Social inequalities play a key role in information society, influencing citizens’ engagement in political, social, cultural and education life. Social inequalities influence the way in which individuals access, use and enjoy the benefits of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), and the internet in particular.

Inequalities connected with the introduction of ICTs are intertwined with already existing social inequalities, in a circular and cumulative process. Groups slower in adopting the new technology will not always will be able to bridge the gap with the fastest, with the consequent growth of differential access and use. It is likely that over time the problem of the gap in access will tend to decrease. In the UK, for instance, more than 90% of population access the internet. However, at the same time, inequalities in using ICTs are increasing. Indeed, not all technological innovations are equal, since some citizens/users may have more capacity/skills/motivation/interest than others in accessing and using such technologies. As several studies have suggested, digital inequalities, in terms of political participation, healthcare and education, are entangled with already-existing social inequalities.

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Towards an inclusive digital society

CC9A9471.jpgIt has been a big honour for me to give a Keynote talk at the 10th International Media Readings in Moscow “Mass Media and Communications-2018“, 25-26 October 2018, Moscow.

Abstract: At the same time as granting many privileges to their users, the development of the information society has highlighted the existence of obstacles preventing certain social groups (people who are disadvantaged in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, location, income, education or disability) from accessing and properly using technologies. An exclusion from, or even partial access to, the digital realm has become a significant source of social inequality. Digital inclusive initiatives tend to promote the use of ICTs as a means to create social inclusion. Enhancing digital inclusivity means helping citizens to use ICTs to find the resources and services they need when they need them the most. The aim is to include everyone in society by having access to ICTs and the skills, knowledge and confidence to use them to benefit their everyday lives. To build a digitally inclusive society it is necessary to challenge the digital divide by helping citizens to access, use and get the most out of ICTs. These three elements—access, use and social benefits—correspond to the three levels of the digital divide, intended as an articulated and multifaceted phenomenon that encompasses variables other than simply access. Any attempt to foster inclusion in the digital realm needs to consider these three levels.

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