Opening Talk at the III Encuentro de la Cátedra de Brecha Digital Generacional, University of Alicante

It was a big honour to be invited to open a two-day workshop (21st and 22nd of September 2022) with academics and policymakers at the University of Alicante. The event was organized by la Cátedra de Brecha Digital Generacional (fruits of the collaboration between the University and the Generalitat Valenciana).

In my talk, titled “The self-reinforcing effect of digital and social exclusion”, I first emphasised the idea of the self-reinforcing effect of digital and social exclusion, by highlighting how, despite their access to the Internet, those people at risk of social exclusion are more likely to lack the digital experience necessary to fully exploit the possibilities the Internet can offer.

Based on data from recent research I underlined how those who tend to obtain more benefits from the use of the Internet are, on average, young, well-educated and with a higher income, thus reinforcing their already privileged social positions. Here you can read more about our research

I have also further emphasized how socially vulnerable people have more difficulties in using digital technologies and gaining benefits from them, leading to further marginalisation of their position and deepening of inequalities.

Finally, I underlined how offline social structures and practices influence individuals’ ability to use digital technologies as an empowering tool of social inclusion.

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