‘Digital Inclusion’: Are We All Talking about the Same Thing?

‘Digital Inclusion’: Are We All Talking about the Same Thing?

Cristina Kiomi Mori
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-799-2.ch003
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In the past twenty years, there has been increasing involvement of governments, societies and communities in initiatives for bridging the digital gap, aiming economic and social development. These efforts are generally called ‘digital inclusion’ policies and projects. The expression ‘digital inclusion’ combines defining terms such as ‘digital divide’ and ‘social inclusion’, together with the assumptions, ideologies and value systems they carry. However, the comprehension of this expression varies among different agents involved. Identifying defining terms and analyzing their corresponding views is essential for improving scientific approach to any theme. This chapter scrutinizes definitions of ‘digital inclusion’, ‘social exclusion’ and related topics from specialized and academic bibliography, as well as from the field, in order to contribute qualifying academic and policy making debates. It proposes that the approaches to ‘digital inclusion’ are connected to concept views about society and social dynamics, State, market, civil society relationships and public policies. The notion of ‘Information Society’ and the purposes of disseminating digital information and communication technologies (ICT) are also present, thus framing ‘digital inclusion’ in different ways. The text concludes that scientific approaches must consider these aspects for addressing ‘digital inclusion’ as an object of analysis in a more consistent basis.

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