Social exclusion and ICT: barriers and incentives to digital inclusion

Gibson, Marcia (2006) Social exclusion and ICT: barriers and incentives to digital inclusion. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In light of survey evidence suggesting that non-use of leT and indicators of social exclusion are strongly correlated, and a widespread belief that use of leT is essential to living in the 'Information Society', the emergence of 'digital exclusion' has been identified as a potentially serious problem by policy-makers and academics. However, few analyses to date have employed any statistical techniques more sophisticated than bivariate descriptives to explore the relationships between indicators of social exclusion, or any other demographic factors, and leT use. Many surveys have indicated that factors such as lack of interest are often cited as a reason for non-use, but little qualitative research has been conducted to explore motivations for leT use and reasons for non-use in more depth from the perspective of the groups in question. This research aimed to investigate the links between digital and social exclusion in Scotland using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. In the first phase of the research, logistic regression analysis was conducted on the dataset generated by the 200 1 wave of the Scottish Household Survey both in order to establish how closely related the two forms of exclusion are and to investigate which factors are most strongly related to leT use. The statistical analysis informed the development of a sampling frame for the second phase of the research, in which 29 qualitative interviews were conducted with socially excluded users and non-users of leT, with a view to investigating the barriers and incentives to leT use among such groups. The research found that, although factors which indicate social exclusion are related to non-use of leT, collectively they do not explain a high proportion of the variance in leT use. The qualitative interviews suggested that definitions of leT use based on a user/non-user model do not reflect the manner in which people use leT. They also indicated that more socially excluded people than surveys would suggest use leT. However, many do not self-defme as leT users. In tandem with the findings of the statistical analysis, this called into question the existence of a straightforward causal link between social and digital exclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Anderson, Professor Anne and Day, Dr. Rosie
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Ms Dawn Pike
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-4908
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 09:39
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2014 16:34

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