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Information and Communication Technology and the Social Inclusion of Refugees

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Abstract

The social inclusion of newly resettled refugees is a significant issue confronting both refugees and their host societies. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are increasingly viewed as a useful resource in programs that provide settlement services or promote participation in society. This paper moves beyond the conventional discussion on the digital divide to explore what people are actually able to do and achieve with ICTs. We draw on an analysis of the use of ICTs for particular purposes by more than 50 resettled refugees to develop an explanation of the process by which ICT use contributes to their social inclusion. We propose that ICT constitutes a resource from which a set of five valuable capabilities is derived: to participate in an information society, to communicate effectively, to understand a new society, to be socially connected, and to express a cultural identity. In realizing these capabilities through ICT use, refugees exercise their agency and enhance their well-being in ways that assist them to function effectively in a new society and regain control over their disrupted lives.

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... Like Zheng and Walsham [25] and Diaz Andrade and Doolin, [26], we use the capability approach of Sen [23] [19] in analyzing our empirical study. According to Sen [12], social inclusion can be defined in terms of "the deprivation of basic capabilities". ...
... Thus, people must have the "the capabilities to choose a life one has reason to value" [23] in order to be socially included. Importantly, to convert capabilities into personal achievements (achieved functionings) a person should have access to a reasonably diverse range of resources, which are subject to a range of personal, social, and environmental factors [26] [22]. ...
... Previous researches emphasize the role of ICT in social inclusion [26] [53] [54]. Yet, young disabled people have received little attention in the literature. ...
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Purpose In light of the emphasis on “inclusion” in the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the notion of social inclusion encompasses the goal of granting opportunities for disabled people, integrate them and make them participate in the new environment. Referring to the capability theory, the purpose of this study is to examine the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the social inclusion of disabled young people in Lebanon. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses a qualitative approach based on a series of focused semi-structured interviews with 11 participants occupying key positions in aid associations for disabled people. Findings The findings suggest that smart technologies can enhance social inclusion through three key factors: the nature of impairment and other personal characteristics of disabled people, the resources available to them and the environmental aspects provided by government policies and society’s cultural practices. In the contemporary society characterized by an increasing role of ICTs, the findings of this research could contribute to lead the developing countries to a sustainable and inclusive world through social inclusion of their youth. Research limitations/implications This study has some limitations that should be mentioned. First, it was conducted only on a small sample size (with 11 interviewees). Further empirical research must be conducted on larger sample to build and elaborate on the findings. Second, the results are mainly based on the points of view of people working in aid associations for disabled people. In future research, semi-structured interviews can be carried out with the disabled people themselves or with members of their family to ask them about their personal experience with smart technologies and the impact of this on their social inclusion. It was also suggested that the future research should explore the challenges of inclusion for different categories of disabled people separately because they are not all facing the same issues and the same challenges. Furthermore, as this paper focuses on the role of smart technologies in the development of social inclusion of disabled people, future research could take place with other groups, for example, Palestinian and Syrian refugees, to identify whether these groups are experiencing similar challenges and barriers when trying to use smart technologies as a way to enhance their social inclusion. Practical implications Related to a larger and broader approach, social inclusion of disabled or marginalized people or refugees in developing countries could be a way to commit to a sustainable and inclusive world, in alignment with the eight goals of the Millennium Development Goals. Originality/value Related to a larger and broader approach, social inclusion of disabled or marginalized people or refugees in developing countries could be a way to commit to a sustainable and inclusive world, in alignment with the eight goals of the Millennium Development Goals.
... Article 1: Understanding the Role of ICTs in Promoting Social Inclusion: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Germany Existing research offers limited insights into the process by which ICTs may contribute to greater social inclusion of technology-empowered refugees (Diaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016). Contributing to this field, we have analyzed the mobile-based ICT usage patterns of Syrian refugees in Germany to understand how ICTs can promote social inclusion. ...
... In this paper, we try to understand how refugees use information and communication technology (ICT) in different regions of the world to understand how ICT is supporting refugees' desperate journey to safety, their stay in temporary settlement camps, and their postsettlement inclusion in host countries. With this goal in mind, we reviewed extant literature on marginalized groups' ICT use, especially the few works that touch on the role ICT plays in refugee integration (Díaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016;Caidi, Allard, and Quirke, 2010). ...
... This, in turn, enhances their sense of agency and, above all, perceptions of well-being -a major premise of social inclusion in the refugee's context. Rooted in the IS tradition to look for a wider societal impact of emerging technologies Zheng, 2009;Zheng and Walsham, 2008), the study by Andrade and Doolin (2016) serves as a starting point for our research efforts. ...
Thesis
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In this thesis, we tackle two social disruptions: recent refugee waves in Germany and the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as a key means of alleviating these disruptions and promoting social inclusion. As social disruptions typically lead to frustration and fragmentation, it is essential to ensure the social inclusion of individuals and societies during such times. In the context of the social inclusion of refugees, we focus on the Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany as of 2015, as they form a large and coherent refugee community. In particular, we address the role of ICTs in refugees’ social inclusion and investigate how different ICTs (especially smartphones and social networks) can foster refugees’ integration and social inclusion. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we focus on the widespread unconventional working model of work from home (WFH). Our research here centers on the main constructs of WFH and the key differences in WFH experiences based on personal characteristics such as gender and parental status. We reveal novel insights through four well-established research methods: literature review, mixed methods, qualitative method, and quantitative method. The results of our research have been published in the form of eight articles in major information systems venues and journals. Key results from the refugee research stream include the following: Smartphones represent a central component of refugee ICT use; refugees view ICT as a source of information and power; the social connectedness of refugees is strongly correlated with their Internet use; refugees are not relying solely on traditional methods to learn the German language or pursue further education; the ability to use smartphones anytime and anywhere gives refugees an empowering feeling of global connectedness; and ICTs empower refugees on three levels (community participation, sense of control, and self-efficacy). Key insights from the COVID-19 WFH stream include: Gender and the presence of children under the age of 18 affect workers’ control over their time, technology usefulness, and WFH conflicts, while not affecting their WFH attitudes; and both personal and technology-related factors affect an individual’s attitude toward WFH and their productivity. Further insights are being gathered at the time of submitting this thesis. This thesis contributes to the discussion within the information systems community regarding how to use different ICT solutions to promote the social inclusion of refugees in their new communities and foster an inclusive society. It also adds to the growing body of research on COVID-19, in particular on the sudden workplace transformation to WFH. The insights gathered in this thesis reveal theoretical implications and future opportunities for research in the field of information systems, practical implications for relevant stakeholders, and social implications related to the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic that must be addressed.
... Despite initial paranoia (Devas & Grant, 2003;Kakumba, 2010), recent studies have unequivocally highlighted the growing prominence of EP in enabling Inclusive Human Development (Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Pflughoeft & Schneider, 2020) and influencing Environmental Performance positively (He, Boas, Mol, & Lu, 2017;Royo, Yetano, & Acerete, 2014). For instance, Díaz Andrade and Doolin (2016) illustrate how ICT-enabled participation can empower refugees to interact with the new society and facilitate their inclusion in mainstream society. ...
... Existing scholarly works invariably recognize EP as an indispensable tool for facilitating a more inclusive policy-making (Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Pflughoeft & Schneider, 2020) by involving citizens and stakeholders via three principal modes of engagement: e-information sharing, e-consultation, and e-decision-making (Teder & Kaimre, 2018). E-Information sharing pertains to information dissemination from government to citizens, e-consultation concerns the solicitation of citizen inputs by government for policies and programs initiated by the government, while e-decision-making focuses on the direct involvement of citizens in the policy decision-making process through deliberative discourses, online petitioning, or advisory committees Medaglia, 2012;Rexhepi, Filiposka, & Trajkovik, 2018). ...
... Nonetheless, some evidence suggests the positive influence of EP on inclusion and Inclusive Human Development by providing information access and a common participatory platform cutting across age, income, gender, and geographical demographics (Pflughoeft & Schneider, 2020). Accordingly, EP facilitates the inclusion of socially vulnerable groups, including youth (Phang & Kankanhalli, 2006;Rexhepi et al., 2018), women, rural communities, elderly and technology-challenged population (Morris, 2007;Olphert & Damodaran, 2013) as well as refugees into the mainstream community (Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016). However, the near absence of empirical assessment at a cross-country-level provides no specific guidance to this ongoing debate on the country-level effectiveness of EP as a tool for enabling Inclusive Human Development (Schlosberg et al., 2008). ...
Article
Against a backdrop of scant scholarly evidence regarding the effectiveness of E-Participation (EP) in enabling broader macro-level outcomes, we posit that electronic participation use by governments in engaging citizens leads to a more inclusive human development and superior environmental performance, directly as well as indirectly through corruption control. Towards this, we employ human-centered development perspective, the “just” environmental sustainability paradigm, agency theory, and rent-seeking theory to draw linkages between EP, Corruption Control, Inclusive Human Development, and Environmental Performance. Using publicly available archival data for 132 countries, we carry out an empirical analysis and establish that higher EP is positively associated with Inclusive Human Development and subsequently Environmental Performance. Specifically, our results substantiate the role of Corruption Control as an intervening mechanism via which EP's impact on Environmental Performance assumes effectiveness. Our findings contribute to the theoretical discourse on EP by extending the analysis of EP impacts beyond its immediate outcomes (such as Corruption Control) to include higher-order macro-level impacts (such as Inclusive Human Development and Environmental Performance). In doing so, we uncover fresh evidence of EP's effectiveness in enabling Inclusive Human Development and Environmental Performance on a global scale. Based on these observations, we draw implications for theory and practice, and avenues for future research.
... There is a growing body of research investigating how ICT can enhance the social inclusion of displaced people. As displaced people, they have moved from their homes into new and unfamiliar communities in which they need to adapt and construct meaningful lives (Díaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016). Majority of these studies have focused on the use of mobile phones by refugees and migrants in the global north (Bock et al., 2020;Shah et al., 2019). ...
... Understanding how ICT contributes to social inclusion has been a complex analytical task (Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Kleine, 2009). Sen's (1999) Capability Approach (CA) has been suggested as an alternative approach to theorising the role of ICT in initiating and supporting the social inclusion of displaced people (AbuJarour & Krasnova, 2017;Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016). ...
... Understanding how ICT contributes to social inclusion has been a complex analytical task (Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Kleine, 2009). Sen's (1999) Capability Approach (CA) has been suggested as an alternative approach to theorising the role of ICT in initiating and supporting the social inclusion of displaced people (AbuJarour & Krasnova, 2017;Díaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016). The CA is primarily focused on the notion of 'freedom' which broadly refers to the effective opportunities that people have to live the kind of life they have reason to value (Sen, 1999). ...
Article
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Internally Displaced People (IDP) have received less attention in ICT4D research. This study examines how IDP in Africa use mobile phones to enhance their social inclusion. We employed Sen’s Capability Approach as the theoretical lens and a qualitative case study as a methodology. Qualitative data obtained from 21 conflict-induced IDP in Nigeria suggests that mobile phones serve not only as a self-help commodity to overcome disconnection from their communities but also a means to enhance their individual and collective capabilities, which in turn fosters their social inclusion. However, generating these capabilities depend on the personal, social, and environmental experiences of IDP. With these findings, the study offers contributions to theory, research, and practice.
... In the refugees' context, the goal of social inclusion is to grant opportunities for people to settle in, integrate, and participate in the new environment [5]. Recent research differentiates between two critical goals of social inclusion in the context of refugee integration: well-being and the sense of agency [8]. While wellbeing reflects individual "cognitive and affective evaluations of his or her life" [9, p. 187], agency is defined as the "freedom to set and pursue one's own goals and interests" [10]. ...
... Notably, a growing body of research suggests that ICT solutions can support refugees in their integration journey and have the potential to tap into multiple domains of social inclusion [8]. Indeed, access to the Internet can provide refugees with general information about housing, employment, rights, citizenship, supporting services, language learning programs, and help overcome the feeling of isolation by supporting existing and establish new social connections [5; 21; 22]. ...
... For example, refugees rely on social media sites to understand and navigate the housing market and understand the local culture by providing useful tools and information [6]. Furthermore, refugees have been shown to actively use technology to connect with authorities to acquire information on regulations [8] as they apply and follow up on their asylum application [6; 25]. ...
... Indeed, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) supports refugees along their way of fleeing and resettling [6][7]. It has been shown to positively affect different aspects of refugee integration such as social connectedness [8], access to higher education [9], and economic as well as cultural participation [10]. Particularly, digital services aiming at the provision and exchange of information play an important role for refugees and host societies as "social inclusion for refugees is often conceptualised as an information problem" [8, p. 407]. ...
... ICT is considered highly promising in supporting refugee integration [8,18] which is reflected both in the usage of digital services among refugees and in the supply of digital services for refugees. One reason for this is the prevalence of the necessary devices. ...
... There are many studies which show the potential of ICT to positively affect integration of refugees. Studies revealed for example that providing refugees with ICT, such as mobile phones or smartphones and a corresponding data plan, leads to positive effects on social connectedness (e.g., [8,26]), access to higher education [9], and economic as well as cultural participation [10]. Siddiquee and Kagan [26], for instance, show that participation in a Community Internet Project can help female refugees to build and maintain social links and help them to become integrated. ...
... AbuJarour et al., 2017;S. a. AbuJarour et al., 2019;Alencar et al., 2019;Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Borkert et al., 2018;D ıaz Andrade & Doolin, 2019;Gillespie et al., 2018;Kutscher & Kreß, 2018;Leurs & Smets, 2018;Veronis et al., 2018;Wall et al., 2019;Wall et al., 2017). Earlier studies, including that conducted by Charmarkeh (2013), revealed that Somalian refugees in France utilized social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and MSN Messenger, to aid in navigation "during their migratory trajectories and settlements". ...
... One cannot assume that increased use of ICTs means that people feel more socially included. For refugees, overcoming the traditional digital divide is a great challenge, and further limits their ability to function in society, as well as their ability to socially integrate (Andrade & Doolin, 2016). ...
... Today's information society "is converging that of an inclusive society" (Andrade & Doolin, 2016), so that internet access is seen as the foundation for social inclusion (Selwyn, 2002). This study has revealed that internet access (digital inclusion) and social inclusion are interlinked, as refugee women's information needs influence their inclusion into German society. ...
Article
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This study examines how women refugees in Hamburg, Germany, many arriving either as minors or unaccompanied minors (now young adults), managed to overcome information precarity resulting from limited access to the internet and/or traditional media, while experiencing constantly-changing living conditions. Findings from 32 semi-structured interviews with refugee women from various countries show that their perception of precarity was amplified by limited internet access. Refugee women actively sought to overcome this precarity, exhibiting resourcefulness in finding ways to access the internet, digital media, and information and communication technology tools. This study does not exclusively focus on mobile phone use, but the findings indicate that mobile phones represent a lifeline for refugee women that is as vital as food or shelter.
... Notwithstanding their exclusionary potential, ICTs have been adopted to achieve socioeconomic inclusion for vulnerable groups (Alam & Imran, 2015;Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Phipps, 2000). However, this other side of the 'Janus face' of ICTs (Arnold, 2003) 1 Since the 1980s, international development discourses have identified governance and good governance as critical for socio-economic progress (Jessop, 1998;World Bank Group, 2000). ...
... Following Zheng and Walsham (2008), as well as Andrade and Doolin (2016), we consider the tenets of the capability approach to offer important insights for understanding the significance of digital identity for inclusion. We posit inclusion to allow capabilities, and the ability to choose valuable opportunities for well-being (Sen, 1999). ...
Article
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The literature on e-governance has highlighted the potential of ICTs to enable good governance and socioeconomic development by leveraging stakeholders and resources within and outside the government to address specific challenges. A significant challenge in many developing countries is the inability of large segments of the population-notably, the vulnerable poor-to receive and benefit from services or public provisions because they lack a means of formal identification. Various digital identity projects worldwide have attempted to address the problem through an umbrella approach dubbed identification for development (ID4D). However, little is known about how digital identity advances e-governance by enabling socioeconomic development through inclusion. This study examines the inclusion and developmental significance of digital identity by drawing on thematic analysis of secondary data from 40 published studies based on the empirical context of India's Aadhaar-the world's largest digital identity scheme which enables service delivery to over 1.2 billion people. From our analysis, we identify themes of digital identity and socioeconomic inclusion and develop a theoretical account of their relationship. The resulting framework contributes towards advancing e-governance for development by showing how digital identity might enable inclusion.
... Capability approach (Cibangu, 2020;Diaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Kleine et al., 2012;Nemer, 2016;Poveda & Roberts, 2018;Zheng & Walsham, 2008) Does the long-term engagement of DSIrs make local communities resilient? If so, how? ...
... In appreciation of the differences between DSI and commercial innovation, rather than entirely relying on commercial entrepreneurship, we integrate theories from social entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship.Any implementation of DSI needs to account for social context and social hierarchies. Unlike digital divide research, which is mostly concerned with access issues on account of lack of digital infrastructure, digital literacy and other relevant skills(Diaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Zheng & Walsham, 2021), DSI research should account for the complex Web of social structures, informal institutions and intersectionality ...
Article
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We see the DSI research framework as a way to organise various streams of research being conducted to understand how digital technologies and platforms can be leveraged to address various social issues included in the UN's SDGs. This framework also provides an opportunity to integrate various theoretical perspectives, such as social intermediation, capability approach and institutional works. Taking inspiration from Walsham's exhortation “are we making a better world with ICTs?” (2012), we hope and trust that the DSI research framework and the papers included in this special issue will stimulate further interest in socially relevant and impactful research. This editorial is just a small step in that direction.
... The nine theme 8 articles focused on interpretation and communications services offered by support agencies and informal interpreters (e.g., family, friends, volunteers) to access mainstream services (e.g., healthcare) for refugees who experience communication difficulties (Shrestha-Ranjit et al., 2020). It also includes enabling and usage of ICT services for and by refugees (Andrade and Doolin, 2016). Refugees often feel lost, confused and frustrated due to language barriers and lack of interpreters which can lead to significant fear and anxiety. ...
... In summary of phase 8, as the use of ICT leads to social inclusion (Andrade and Doolin, 2016) and can reduce language related access barriers, more focus on the integration of such services is required (Turunen and Weinryb, 2019). This might necessitate the development of apps that can be used to translate content for refugees while they are accessing such services. ...
Article
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Purpose: This study systematically reviews and conceptualises service-related research on refugees to identify gaps in the literature, derive future research avenues and stimulate interdisciplinary research and practice to improve wellbeing of refugees. Design/methodology/approach: The study employs a systematic literature review (SLR) of 102 journal articles published or available online from 2000 to 2020. Findings: Ten themes are identified across the three phases of the refugees’ service journey (entry, transition and exit). Most of the articles focus on the exit phase. One-third of the literature analyse refugees’ access and adaptation to healthcare services. The dearth of research on other refugee services reflects the failure to attend to all aspects of service provision across all phases of the refugee service journey. Research limitations/implications: While the ten themes across the three phases require scholars’ and practitioners’ attention, different aspects of the SLR’s findings necessitate further investigation. To reinvigorate research and practice, and stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration, a novel Communities of Practice approach is suggested. Practical implications: Practitioners and policymakers should place more focus on the entry and transition phases of the refugee service journey. Social implications: Lack of research and engagement with the first two phases of the refugee journey might come at the expense of refugees. More service support is needed to buffer the journey from homeland to host country. Originality/value: This SLR on refugee-related services is the first of its kind from a service research perspective.
... A closer examination of local contexts and social realities may be particularly vital in low-income communities (Castells, 1999) to understand the 'situated nature' of how technology is used by marginalised groups (Mehra et al., 2004: 797). Migrant studies have pointed to the role of 'intermediaries' (including family members and peer groups) in the use and adoption of ICTs by immigrants (Diaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016). In more challenging settings, Wall (2020) highlights the concept of 'precarity', related to personal and contextual vulnerability, particularly affecting access to information. ...
... In the case study tackled in this article, emerging digital divides have been gradually minimised through deliberate support between the women themselves and the sharing of devices and, in some cases, by borrowing a neighbour's phone to participate in the WhatsApp platform. Eventually, women were persuaded to purchase smartphones by their peers in the group, emphasising the strategic role of 'intermediaries' (Diaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016) in ICT adoption and participation. Going beyond the narrative of the passive helpless refugee, the case study draws attention to refugees' own agency and the role of social networks in their digital and social inclusion, influencing both real and virtual life domains (Halilovich, 2013). ...
Article
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This article examines the growing influence of Informational Communication Technologies (ICTs) in less certain refugee contexts and the role of civil society groups. Drawing on an empirical case study of Somali refugees in Kenya, the article explores the grassroots use of ICTs by refugee women and local socio-economic dynamics in processes of inclusion. Adopting a micro-institutional perspective, the discussion looks at the emerging influence of mobile technology on refugee women’s precarious norms related to mobility and work, and the evolution of new digital norms. The article highlights the strategic role of women’s groups and proactive group members as ‘institutional entrepreneurs’, in aiding levels of ICT adoption among group members, motivated by connection, protection and collective enterprise, with potential effects far beyond the group. In a transitory and fragile refugee context however, constraints on civil society may lead to the exclusion of more isolated populations without formal institutional support.
... Alam and Imran (2015) found that digital inclusion and social inclusion are linked issues for refugees. A study in New Zealand found that in order to promote the social inclusion of refugees, researchers and policymakers must consider information and communication technologies (ICT) (Díaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016). Mobile phones thus have a key role to play in the promotion of the social inclusion of forced migrants. ...
Preprint
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Germany has witnessed an influx of forced migrants in recent years. Promoting social interaction with the local community is key to supporting the resettlement of these newcomers. Location-based freecycling services present important benefits due to freecycling's potential to bolster social engagement and location-based services' ability to adapt to the user's context. Yet, their potential to support forced migrants' resettlement is yet to be examined. We conducted needs assessment interviews with 11 participants in Muenster, Germany. We analyzed the interview results to develop user requirements for location-based freecycling services. We then implemented a subset of the user requirements as a prototype mobile app called Geofreebie. The evaluation of the app with 22 participants showed that Geofreebie offered two key advantages for forced migrants' resettlement: it increased the size of their social network, and created a sense of community on their side. These findings can benefit researchers and developers of location-based services to support forced migrant resettlement.
... Most importantly, researchers have previously focused on the uni-directional impact that entrepreneurial diversity has on identifying and exploiting digital innovation's potential (Beckman & Burton, 2008;Hart, 2014;Vissa & Chacar, 2009). However, we still lack comprehensive knowledge about the impact that digital tools and infrastructures have on entrepreneurial diversity and its different dimensions (Deng, Joshi, & Galliers, 2016;Dias & Doolin, 2016;Sundermeier, Wessel, & Davidson, 2018). As such, the conference also focused on exploring the bi-directional interplay between entrepreneurial diversity and digital innovation and especially how digital technologies affect the work that diverse groups of people who explore and exploit digital innovation's potential perform. ...
... In view of the cultural differences among countries, the conclusions and recommendations made in this study may not necessarily be directly translatable to other countries. Moreover, over the last several decades, the influence of news coverage on public health has been shaped by changes in the pattern of information access [54][55][56][57]. Such changes are led by the increasing diversity of media technologies [58]. ...
Article
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Background Technical information regarding health-related advances is sometimes esoteric for the general public. News media, therefore, plays a key role in public health promotion via health information conveyance. In this study, we use China as a sample country and analyze the claims and frames in news coverage of health-related advances, with special focus on news coverage of the development and performance of newly developed or tested drugs. Methods A keyword search was performed to retrieve news articles from four representative news agencies in China. In total, 3029 news reports were retrieved, of which 128 were selected for further analysis. Results Four aspects of news coverage of drug development were identified: (1) the characteristics of new drugs covered, (2) the sources of information, (3) the accuracy of health information in newspapers, and (4) textual features of news coverage. Conclusions Our findings reveal that guidelines should be established to facilitate more systematic news reporting on health-related advances. Additionally, literacy among the general public and professionalism in health information conveyance should be promoted to negate the “illusion of knowing” about health-related advances.
... specific problem, class of problem, meta-problem)-e.g. Markus et al.'s (2002) encountering with casting a specific problem into a class of problems for the design of emergent knowledge processes, or Andrade and Doolin's (2016) scrutiny on identifying general problems for ICT and the social inclusion of refugees. • The issue of identifying and addressing emerging challenges prior to entering an empirical research setting-e.g. ...
Chapter
This book chapter provides revitalizing thoughts on the meaning of theory, theorizing, and philosophizing in the field of Information Systems (IS). More specifically, the chapter scrutinizes and explicates central definitions of theory, theorizing, philosophy, and philosophizing, in the context of developing theoretical implications as a part of a larger theory development project. Additionally, the chapter introduces the concept of kernel philosophies and conceptualizes different spaces for theory development projects in IS. Finally, the chapter ends with concluding remarks on philosophy and philosophizing as supportive medium for the theorizing process in IS.
... This incessant use of social media has been known to negatively impact a person's sense of well-being and can lead to feelings of social networking exhaustion (James et al., 2017;Maier et al., 2015;Wepfer, 2017). However, despite the potential negative impacts of social media, potential benefits can arise from some types of social media interactions (Andrade and Doolin, 2016). The blurring of the boundaries between social media use during one's personal time and during one's work time brings the salience of social media to the forefront for many employees (Connor, 2015). ...
... The results of analyses have already been presented in the literature to demonstrate the value that ICT has for refugees who already have reached their destination of choice (e.g., Andrade & Doolin;. As they argue, ICT provides a bridge for refuges: "to participate in an information society, to communicate effectively, to understand a new society, to be socially connected, and to express a cultural identity". ...
Article
The political and social instability in many parts of the world has led to large numbers of refugees forced to find a haven in Europe, and the social and political pressure is felt in these countries, as they see the situation worsening dramatically. In this article, an analysis of the geo-sociological assumptions within the conventional conception of social inclusion is undertaken and substituted by a new one based upon the knowledge-based, network-oriented nature of modern European society. This is referred to as Virtual Social Inclusion (VSI) and it aims primarily at two fundamental dimensions of human activity: education and employment. The article focuses on the nature and implications of VSI for inclusive education and its underlying principles, particularly mobility and openness. What VSI requires to turn from a theoretical framework into a practical reality and the foreseeable implications of its implementation are explored. Keywords: Virtual social inclusion, social inclusion, MOOC, open education.
... In the absence of political institutions and organized associations, new technological improvements might potentially assist peace mediations and the right of return. This could include for instance new software/apps popularizing public consultation in peace processes and census platforms aiming to collate and verify property data across dispossessed owners and to assist them to reach amicable compromises with the new occupants of disputed homes and properties (Andrade, A. D. and B. Doolin 2016;Stefanovic & Loizides, forthcoming). ...
Chapter
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This chapter examines how the right of return has been defined, negotiated and implemented in post-conflict societies. It draws on new research on post-conflict returnees aiming to identify the conditions under which displaced persons choose to return often despite opposition from new occupants and hostile local authorities. The chapter integrates diverse contributions across the social sciences focusing on the role of institutional design, emerging legal practices, inter-ethnic contact, trust and social capital to demonstrate the potential for and limits of community effort in reversing the effects of displacement and to suggest possible policy directions.
... Notably, refugees in Germany said that they could not understand government websites because they were "a little bit tricky, confusing and not easy to access" or did not present information in their language. Instead, refugees reported that they resorted to social media to get crowdsourced information that other refugees and volunteers provided (AbuJarour & Krasnova, 2017;Diaz Andrade & Doolin, 2016;Gillespie et al., 2016). For example, on Facebook, refugees relied on information that others provide in groups and on pages. ...
Article
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Immigrant integration has risen to the top of the political agenda of leaders in Germany and the U.S. The information systems community has begun to research how information and communications technologies can assist immigrants and especially refugees, by seeking to better understand how to facilitate social inclusion processes. Migrants face the challenge of joining closed communities that are incapable of or afraid to integrate. We conducted a panel discussion at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2019) in Cancun, Mexico to introduce multiple viewpoints on the topic of immigration, specifically showing how technology can both support and prevent immigrants from succeeding in their quest. The panel aimed to stimulate a thoughtful and dynamic discussion on best practices and recommendations to enhance the discipline's impact on alleviating the challenges that occur for immigrants in their host countries. In this panel report, we introduce the topic of ICT use for immigrants' integration, and identify differences between Europe and North and Central America. We also discuss the usage of ICT by immigrants, in particular refugees, for connection, a sense of belonging, and maintaining their identity. We uncover the dark and bright sides of ICT usage by governments seeking to deter illegal immigration. Finally, we present recommendations for research and practice on how to best engage ICT to assist with all aspects of immigration.
... people in their area [9], and settled immigrants with earlier migration experiences [10,11]. Appropriately, ICTs help migrants to perceive and be involved in their host nation, enabling them to work adequately in new society [12]. ...
... Alam and Imran (2015) found that digital inclusion and social inclusion are linked issues for refugees. A study in New Zealand found that in order to promote the social inclusion of refugees, researchers and policymakers must consider information and communication technologies (ICT) (Díaz Andrade and Doolin, 2016). Mobile phones thus have a key role to play in the promotion of the social inclusion of forced migrants. ...
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... Recent work (Yoo et al. 2010, Lee 2015Majchrzak et al. 2016), has highlighted the rising interest in the role of IT as a source of both positive societal transformations and complex societal challenges. On the one hand, advances in IT are associated with opportunities for positive changes in societal conditions, including enhanced social inclusion (Andrade and Doolin 2016), poverty alleviation (Jha et al. 2016;Leong et al. 2016), and increased political participation (Selander and Jarvenpaa 2016). On the other hand, IT is linked to a wide range of societal challenges, such as loss of privacy (Conger et al. 2013), increased systemic risks (Tarafdar et al. 2013), the deregulation of employment (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2012), and the undermining of democratic processes (Allcott and Gentzkow 2017). ...
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While there has been much work on the relationship between information technology (IT) and organizational change, there has been limited research that theorizes the relationship between IT and societal change. This paper draws on institutional theory, in particular institutional logics, to develop a model of IT and societal change, which we argue is critical in an era of large-scale digital transformation. Our approach is based on a view of society as an interinstitutional system, reflecting the multiplicity of logics at the societal level. We conceptualize societal change as shifts in the multiplicity of logics, with a focus on changes in the levels of centrality and compatibility. Our model relates these changes to the materiality of technology through the concept of IT affordances. We propose three mechanisms (sensegiving, translating, and decoupling) through which IT affordances become elements of societal change. We identify three corresponding carriers through which IT affordances gain scale and stability (objects, networks, and platforms). We discuss the implications of our theoretical developments for future research on IT and societal change.
... There are two main trends in the literature. The first one is to explore the overall IT management and the different use aspects, for example, malleable IT uses [31], a technology adaption in groups [32], IT management responsibilities [33], an information system project control [34], social inclusion and IT [35], ICT and the wellbeing of nations [36], IT impact on performing companies [37], etc. The aim of these studies is to explore specific aspects of ICT. ...
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Chapter
Elaborating increasing penchant for smart cities, this chapter takes into account linkages between urbanization and sustainable development to evaluate the concept of sustainable urban development along with brief appraisal of prevalent notions of cities like livable cities, eco-cities and their related components that make city life worth living. Thereafter, the study proceeds to examine prospects of sustainable smart cities, with specific focus on its constituents like smart mobility, smart economy, smart living, smart people, smart governance and smart environment. While assessing options available for cities to tackle the vagaries of climate change, the chapter seeks to present a case for ecosystem-based adaptation as a cost-effective, viable and durable option to deal with adverse impacts of climate change. Lastly, it suggests the implementation of New Urban Agenda of the UN-Habitat in tandem with sustainable development goal-11 as a way out.
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В данной статье исследуется роль цифровых технологий в процессе адаптации трудовых мигрантов. На основе анализа опыта реализации ряда документов стратегического и программного характера Российской Федерации в области миграционной политики было выявлено, что цифровая составляющая данных документов находит свое воплощение на практике в ограниченном объеме и носит по большей части декларативный характер как на федеральном, так и на региональном уровнях. Отмечается, что приоритетом миграционной политики России в контексте применения цифровых технологий является совершенствование мер по контролю миграционных потоков, тогда как проблема адаптации рассматривается вне данного контекста. В целях определения роли цифровых технологий в обеспечении трудовой миграции из стран Средней Азии и адаптации трудовых мигрантов была проведена серия полуструктурированных интервью с трудовыми мигрантами и работниками салонов сотовой связи в Санкт-Петербурге. На основе анализа серии интервью было выявлено, что интернет-коммуникация выполняет ряд важнейших функций в процессе трудовой миграции, а уровень базовых цифровых знаний у мигрантов приобретает более устойчивый характер. При этом формат существующих интернет-ресурсов с информацией для мигрантов не отвечает в достаточной мере их запросам и основным каналам коммуникации. Подчеркивается, что государственные усилия по адаптации мигрантов в этой области должны характеризоваться гибкостью, а ее потенциальный успех напрямую будет зависеть от способности обеспечивать регулярную коммуникацию с мигрантами
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Given the paucity of quantitative studies investigating the potential of E-Government (EGOV) in enabling national development, our study first attempts to explore EGOV as a potential tool for countries to fulfill their Human Development goals. Toward this, we employ modernization theory and human development perspective to draw the theoretical linkages between EGOV and Human Development. Acknowledging the influence of contextual factors on differential EGOV impacts, we further make use of Schwartz’s cultural values theory to understand the influence of national culture on the EGOV-Human Development relationship. Using archival data for 70 countries, our study specifically provides empirical evidence of EGOV as a significant enabler of Human Development. Besides, our results also highlight the negative moderating influence of Autonomy-Embeddedness on the EGOV-Human Development relationship. Our findings, therefore, suggest the need for appropriate management of contextual factors. Based on these findings, we derive theoretical and managerial implications and identify avenues for future research.
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Refugee integration, one long-term solution to the large number of people fleeing their home countries, constitutes a challenge for both refugees and host societies. ICT and especially online peer groups seem promising to support this process. Building on literature demonstrating the societal benefits of peer groups, this paper proposes a novel peer-group-based approach to address refugee integration and introduces both an online and offline realization. A randomized field experiment in cooperation with public (refugee) services and a non-governmental organization makes it possible to expand existing research by quantitatively demonstrating societal benefits of online peer groups and ICT for refugee integration. Further, this paper is the first to assess the effectiveness of online and offline peer groups in one experimental setup comparatively. Results show that peer groups provide substantial value with respect to the integration domains social bridges, social bonds, rights and citizenship as well as safety and stability. While the outcome of the various integration domains differs for online and offline peer groups, participants’ adoption rates were higher for online peer groups.
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Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges facing society today, with potentially detrimental sustainability impacts on individuals, organisations, and societies. The impact of digital technologies on climate change is one of our key research priorities at the Digital Sustainability Knowledge Hub of the University of New South Wales, Australia. Building on digital sustainability research, we call for research contributions to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, as it could cause far-reaching disruptions to communities and the economy here in Australia and worldwide. In this article, we provide an overview of Australia's perspectives and approaches to addressing climate change. Moreover, to encourage researchers to study and develop solutions, we propose future research directions focusing on climate resilience, climate-conscious citizen science, and organisations’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies.
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We take a layered approach to contextualise Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) to understand digital technologists’ motivations to implement technologies to address socio-economic issues based on their capabilities and kinship affiliations. We adopt an interpretive approach to conducting an inductive qualitative study of digital technologists based in South Africa. We propose three mechanisms (emotional connectedness, user-centred technologies, and symbiotic relations) through which digital technologists undertake ICT4D to exercise their agency and enhance the socio-economic well-being of disadvantaged members of society. Taking the kinship perspective and capability approach as underlying motivations for undertaking ICT4D projects allows us to contribute to the ICT4D literature.
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Information studies have identified numerous needs and barriers to the integration of asylum seekers and refugees; however, little emphasis has been placed thus far on their need to keep their own culture, values, and traditions alive. In this work, we use ethnographic constructivist grounded theory to explore the place of heritage in the information experience of people who have sought asylum in the United Kingdom. Based on our findings, we propose to conceptualize heritage as an affective and meaningful information literacy practice. Such conceptualization fosters integration by allowing people to simultaneously maintain their own ways of knowing and adapt to local ones. Our research approach provides scholars with a conceptual tool to holistically explore affective, meaningful, and cultural information practices. This study also reveals implications for policymakers, third sector organizations, and cultural institutions working toward the more sustainable integration of asylum seekers and refugees.
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Rapid digital transformation is taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing organisations and higher educational institutions to change their working and learning culture. This study explores the challenges of rapid digital transformation arising during the pandemic in the higher education context. This research used the Q-methodology to understand the nine challenges that higher education encountered, perceived differently as four main patterns: (1) Digital-nomad enterprise; (2) Corporate-collectivism; (3) Well-being-oriented; and (4) Pluralistic. This study broadens the current understanding of digital transformation, especially in higher education. The nine challenges and four patterns of transformation actors serve as a starting point for organisations in supporting technological choice and strategic interventions, based on individual, group, and organisational behavioural levels. Moreover, five propositions, based on the competing concerns of these challenges, establish a framework for comprehending the ecosystem that enables rapid digital transformation. Strategies, prerequisites, and key factors during the (digital) technology development process benefit the cyber-society ecosystem. As a practical contribution, Q-methodology was used to investigate perspectives on digitalisation challenges during the pandemic.
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“e-Development” is often pursued with a lot of thinking on the ‘e’ and little on the ‘development,’ rendering the link between them ambiguous and fragile. It is important to explicate what kind of “development” is being pursued, and how information and communication technology (ICT) can contribute to this goal. This article draws on Amartya Sen's capability approach to provide some theoretical reflections on e-development. It is argued that the capability approach, being a normative and evaluative approach, provides us with a different “space” to assess e-development and allows us to sensitize and take into account a variety of important issues surrounding ICT adoption for development. This article first provides an introduction to key concepts of the capability approach, which are then drawn on to generate implications for e-development research. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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What does it mean to become 'at home' in a settlement context while at the same time remaining connected to global networks? And what does this tell us about how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the experiences and opportunities of young people in a settlement context? These are some of the key questions underpinning Home Lands, a digital media project that explored the proposition that, if resettled refugee young people are able to maintain their connections to family and friends around the world, then this might enhance their sense of being at home in Melbourne. Analysing films and photographs produced during the programme by Karen Burmese youth, we describe three articulations of belonging that we have called settlement 'escapes'. We demonstrate how ICTs can open up new possibilities for becoming at home in a new country and as a citizen of a more global, deterritorialized world. Our research demonstrates that settlement in a networked world is fundamentally tied to the resources and opportunities afforded to youth in making a life in their new country both on-line and off-line.
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Technology has been an important theme in the study of organizational form and function since the 1950s. However, organization science’s interest in this relationship has declined significantly over the past 30 years, a period during which information technologies have become pervasive in organizations and brought about significant changes in them. Organizing no longer needs to take place around hierarchy and the collection, storage, and distribution of information as was the case with “command and control” bureaucracies in the past. The adoption of innovations in information technology (IT) and organizational practices since the 1990s now make it possible to organize around what can be done with information. These changes are not the result of information technologies per se, but of the combination of their features with organizational arrangements and practices that support their use. Yet concepts and theories of organizational form and function remain remarkably silent about these changes. Our analysis offers five affordances—visualizing entire work processes, real-time/flexible product and service innovation, virtual collaboration, mass collaboration, and simulation/synthetic reality—that can result from the intersection of technology and organizational features. We explore how these affordances can result in new forms of organizing. Examples from the articles in this special issue “Information Technology and Organizational Form and Function” are used to show the kinds of opportunities that are created in our understanding of organizations when the “black boxes” of technology and organization are simultaneously unpacked.
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New Zealand’s Computers in Homes has been researched since its inception in 2000, through both participatory action research and multiple mixed methods case studies, by the authors of this paper who are now collaborating to find the most meaningful way to assess social outcomes in the scheme as it evolves. Computers in Homes (CIH) not only continues to be informed by the research but it is also beginning to make use of social media for community participant engagement. This paper traces the inter-relationship between the ongoing research and evolution of practice, reflecting on a shift in epistemology and thus research design. Our work now extends to explore the relationship between community blogging, adopted by CIH as a way of engaging the community in making sense of their own experience and thus owning their own research, and the role of social relationships in facilitating a sense of belonging. Our paper examines how the use of social media in this way may challenge the more traditional ideas and power relations inherent in the researcher-participant relationship in community ICT research.
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Purpose: The purpose of the research reported in this article is to understand how refugees learn to engage with a complex, multimodal information landscape, and how their information literacy practice may be constructed to enable them to connect and be included in their new information landscape. Methodology: The study is framed through practice and socio-cultural theories. A qualitative research design is employed including semi-structured face-face interviews and focus groups which are thematically analysed through an information practice lens. Findings: Refugees encounter complex and challenging information landscapes that present barriers to their full participation in their new communities. Social inclusion becomes possible where information is provided via sharing through trusted mediators who assist with navigating the information landscape and information mapping; and through visual and social sources. Research limitations/implications: The study is local and situated and therefore not empirically generalizable. It does however provide rich, deep description and explanation that is instructive beyond the specific research site and contributes to theory building. Practical implications: The study highlights the role, and importance, of social and visual information sources and the key role of service providers and mediators and navigators. Governments, funders and service providers can use these findings to inform their service provision. Originality/value: This is an original research paper in which the results provide practical advice for those working with refugees and which also extends theories of information literacy practice as an information practice.
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In addressing operational challenges such as poverty or economic development, many researchers and practitioners wish to build upon insights raised by Sen's capability approach and related writings. This paper argues that the comprehensive reach and foundation of the human development and capability approach has a value independent from and additional to their practical outworkings, and yet also that operational specifications are both possible and vital to the further development of the approach. The paper begins with a thumbnail sketch of the core concepts of the capability approach, and supplements these with additional informational and principle requirements that Sen argues to be necessary for a more complete assessment of a state of affairs. It traces some important avenues along which the Human Development Reports and other empirical studies have operationalized certain aspects of Sen's capability approach. The paper then articulates further developments that might be expected, arguing that such developments must also build upon cutting edge research in other fields. It also identifies certain 'value judgments' that are inherent to the capability approach and should not be permanently dismissed by some methodological innovation.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to engage with the debate on social exclusion in the e-society from the human development perspective, which goes beyond inequality in distribution of technological goods and services to emphasise the options, choice and opportunities related to accessing and using information. Design/methodology/approach – This is an interpretivist study. It draws on Sen's capability approach (CA) to conceptualise social exclusion in the e-society as capability deprivation, both in well-being and agency freedom. A framework of the core aspects of the CA is used to analyse two empirical studies in South Africa and China which serve to illustrate social exclusion manifested as capability deprivation in different “spaces”. Findings – The paper demonstrates the relational features of social exclusion and different types of capability deprivation in e-society; highlights “unfavourable inclusion” which can be masked by technological diffusion. Research limitations/implications – This paper is an early attempt to apply the capability approach to social studies of information communication technologies in developing countries. Practical implications – The paper provides implications for government policies to go beyond technological provision and pay attention to socio-political, cultural and institutional aspects in ensuring effective utilisation of information and channels of communication, which should serve to enhance people's opportunity to better participate in economic, social and political activities. Originality/value – The paper is a novel attempt to apply concepts of the CA in information systems, which provides a conceptual lens to address the complexity and multiplicity of social exclusion in the e-society.
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This paper critically examines current constructions of the causes, consequences and appropriate actions to reduce the so-called 'digital divide'. Drawing upon discussions that have occurred in a number of intergovernmental forums, the analysis illustrates the limitations of policy debates that focus primarily on issues of access, affordability and capabilities and skills for employability in industry. An alternative framework for assessing the unfolding relation between the new media and society is developed drawing on Amartya Sen's concept of capabilities. This is applied to demonstrate the need for a shift in the emphasis of social science analysis away from digital divide issues and towards the potential for the new media to be configured in ways that could enable the majority of people to strengthen their abilities to make choices about how they wish to live their lives. As new media permeate global social networks more intensively, it is argued that a rights-based approach to new media policy is essential and that this must be based upon assessments of people's entitlements in emerging knowledge societies.
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This paper examines the ways nine teenage Australians—identified as being 'at risk' of social exclusion—are using online networks to participate in society. The research finds that online networks provided the participants with valuable opportunities for social inclusion. These findings are contextualized in relation to current Australian Government education and social policies which, on the one hand aspire to support young people’s social inclusion, and on the other restrict their ability to use online networks in public and private spaces because of safety and health concerns. This study contends that by defining and understanding the social value of young people’s online network use we can move toward a policy framework that not only addresses potential online risks, but also supports equitable digital inclusion for young people.
Chapter
This chapter begins with an exploration of the digital divide in the Australian context. This discussion is followed by an examination of online education, professional development and the capacity of ICT to enhance the well-being of practitioners. The chapter then focuses on the use of ICT in human services and the rise of computer mediated self help and support groups. The potential for ICT to promote and extend political participation is also explored as well as the role of ICT in global development. Throughout, the potential for inclusion and exclusion is highlighted, using examples and critical analysis for exploring the inclusionary and exclusionary capacity of ICT.
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In this paper, I argue for the development of explanatory theory in IS research. I critically examine ways of explaining IS phenomena, identify alternative epistemological approaches used in the social sciences, and point out the significance attributed to causality. I focus in particular on the development of explanation in process IS research that draws from social theory. I introduce the notion of social mechanism and suggest that tracing social mechanisms in research that draws from social theories of action and technology can lead to more complete and novel causal explanations of IS phenomena.
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This paper focus on how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are a crucial aspect in the configuration of new communication processes and practices among transnational families in the context of international migration. I highlight three dimensions of how ICTs offer new possibilities for communicative practices among immigrants and their relatives at home: as a way to maintain family ties and interactions, strengthen cultural values and forms of expression, and provide affective support to the family. Within the academic literature there are few studies that take into consideration the perspective of how ICTs are used by immigrants′ relatives in their home countries. In this sense, the perspectives of transnationalism and transnational family are useful to understand the communication practices that are taking place across national borders. I evaluate some of these elements through case-studies of Salvadoran families who maintain regular communication with their relatives abroad. I address three main research questions: how Salvadoran families who have relatives living in different countries experience transformations in their communication practices; how Salvadoran families use ICTs as a way to maintain affective support with their relatives; and how the implications of ICT usage among transnational families can influence public policies in the new digital age.
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There has an outpouring of energy and creativity into ways of using information and communications technologies (ICT) and the information society (IS) to create inclusion, as an opportunity to tackle, reduce and even prevent social exclusion. This article is based on examining over 40 projects which constitute positive examples of applications of new technologies, by public authorities, private agencies and community groups, to reduce the disadvantage experienced by the more excluded groups in our society.
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The computer represents a new resource in developing social capital that previously did not exist among migrants. The relationship between physical space and cyberspace is discussed using the experience of migrants from Newfoundland who, although dispersed from their homeland, use the computer to maintain ties with both their homeland and others in diaspora. Three phases in the migration cycle are identified (pre-migrant, post-migrant, settled migrant) and four categories of computer usage are linked to each phase. Three types of online relationships can be identified among diasporic peoples that result in developing new ties, nourishing old ties and rediscovering lost ties. The processes of verification, telepresence, hyperreality and attribution are discovered and illustrated from online data and interviews which indicate how computermediated communication is related to both social networking and identity among migrants.
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Many young people with refugee backgrounds struggle to develop positive social and cultural identities in their new settlement locations and often experience disadvantage and marginalization. Yet, recent developments in low cost, accessible Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) potentially provide new opportunities for them to seek their sources of identity and identification elsewhere – through family, peer and cultural connections that transcend the limitations of place. But do youth from refugee backgrounds take advantage of these opportunities for cultural renewal and reconstruction and, if they do, what are the consequences for their local and transnational identities and social networks? As more young people experience mobility – either forced or voluntary – in the course of their early lives, virtual interactions become an important domain of social and cultural practice. In this paper, I explore the mediating effects of digital communications for a small group of young people from refugee backgrounds who currently live in Melbourne but conduct their lives across the globe, in order to reflect on what these experiences suggest about a new set of possibilities for creating trans-local cultures.
Article
In many industrialised countries information and communication technology (ICT) is now being seen as a ready means through which governments can address issues of social exclusion. Indeed, in the UK this perspective has been quickly translated into a multi-billion pound policy agenda aimed at using ICT for socially inclusive purposes. Yet, beyond rhetorical concerns over bridging the perceived ‘digital divide’ and alleviating disparities between the information ‘rich’ and ‘poor’, little critical consideration has been given to how technology is being used by governments to achieve socially inclusive aims. This paper therefore examines the UK government’s ICT-based social policy drive through official documentation, policy statements and political discourse – considering the ‘problems’ that it sets out to address, the substance of the policies, and the perceived rationales and benefits for doing so. Having explored the official construction of these policies, the paper then examines how well founded this policy framework is in terms of achieving its stated aims of widening access to ICT and effectively facilitating ‘social inclusion’. The paper concludes by developing a critical perspective of such ICT policies which reveals deeper economic rationales informing this ostensibly ‘social’ policy programme.
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Abstract This special issue on ‘Return to Cyberia’ is an attempt to evaluate the contemporary moment of new cultural and social forms influenced by rapidly evolving technologies in their first critical decade. It contains five case studies that highlight the range of transnational experiences - from temporary migrants and refugees to the second generation. The contributors address how and why transnational populations use particular communication technologies and the ways in which these practices are influenced by factors such as generation, history of settlement and dispersal, cultural values, class and access. In addition to addressing a wide variety of study populations, the case studies highlight the variety of available ICTs including email and the Internet, teleconferencing, telephones and mobile phones. Collectively, the articles address issues such as geographic identity and connectivity, different use patterns based on gender and generation, authenticity and representation on the Internet, methodology and the intricacies of interpersonal dynamics across transnational social fields.
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Much of the literature on social exclusion ignores its ‘spatial’ or ‘mobility’ related aspects. This paper seeks to rectify this by examining the mobile processes and infrastructures of travel and transport that engender and reinforce social exclusion in contemporary societies. To the extent to which this issue is addressed, it is mainly organized around the notion of ‘access’ to activities, values and goods. This paper examines this discourse in some detail. It is argued that there are many dimensions of such access, that improving access is a complex matter because of the range of human activities that might need to be ‘accessed’, that in order to know what is to be accessed the changing nature of travel and communications requires examination, and that some dimensions of access are only revealed through changes in the infrastructure that ‘uncover’ previously hidden social exclusions. Claims about access and socio-spatial exclusion routinely make assumptions about what it is to participate effectively in society. We turn this question around, also asking how mobilities of different forms constitute societal values and sets of relations, participation in which may become important for social inclusion. This paper draws upon an extensive range of library, desk and field research to deal with crucial issues relating to the nature of a fair, just and mobile society.
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This paper aims to present a theoretical survey of the capability approach in an interdisciplinary and accessible way. It focuses on the main conceptual and theoretical aspects of the capability approach, as developed by Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, and others. The capability approach is a broad normative framework for the evaluation and assessment of individual well-being and social arrangements, the design of policies, and proposals about social change in society. Its main characteristics are its highly interdisciplinary character, and the focus on the plural or multidimensional aspects of well-being. The approach highlights the difference between means and ends, and between substantive freedoms (capabilities) and outcomes (achieved functionings).
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This article discusses the conduct and evaluation of interpretive research in information systems. While the conventions for evaluating information systems case studies conducted according to the natural science model of social science are now widely accepted, this is not the case for interpre- tive field studies. A set of principles for the con- duct and evaluation of interpretive field research in information systems is proposed, along with their philosophical rationale. The usefulness of the principles is illustrated by evaluating three published interpretive field studies drawn from the IS research literature. The intention of the
Article
While much has been written about marginalization as a structural phenomenon, there is little understanding of how the dynamics of marginalization unfold at the micro level in urban contexts. We seek to understand these micro-level marginalization processes via a comparative study of Bangalore, India, and Ronneby, Sweden. Our analysis highlights the important role that “mediators” such as governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and international agencies play in ensuring the success of initiatives launched by national governments and international agencies for drawing disadvantaged groups into the information society.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to anticipate the potential outcomes of efforts to promote social inclusion of youth from refugee backgrounds by considering diverse research conducted on information and communication technologies (ICTs), social inclusion, and young people of refugee backgrounds. It is argued that, while social inclusion programs might be successful at the local level, it is unclear whether they might actually do more harm than good in other, transnational contexts. Design/methodology/approach – Literature reporting on projects that use ICTs to facilitate social inclusion is critically examined, with specific attention to identifying the foundational assumptions underlying such projects. These foundational assumptions are considered in relation to findings of research that identifies the transnational character of the experiences, expectations and aspirations of young people of refugee backgrounds. Findings – The analysis highlights a conceptual disjuncture between the local aims of social inclusion and the transnational experiences of youth with refugee backgrounds. This conceptual disjuncture raises important questions about the potential effects of any program that aims to use ICTs to support young people from refugee backgrounds. While it is clear that a number of potentially positive outcomes are likely from using ICTs to promote social inclusion for refugee youth, several potentially negative outcomes are also apparent. It is argued that these potential harms tend to be overlooked because the foundational concepts of social inclusion assume a “local” community. One means of avoiding the potential for such harms could be to adequately recognise the extent to which individuals and groups participate in intersecting local and transnational communities, networks and flows of ideas, resources, and people. Originality/value – This paper uses evidence of the significance of transnational social and cultural fields to propose an important intervention in social inclusion programs, by pointing to the possible harms that might result from the success of programs that facilitate social inclusion at a local level without appropriate awareness of its effects on non-local contexts in which participants might also be active.
Article
Incl. abstract and bib. Following Amartya Sen, this paper contends that the capability approach provides a better framework for thinking about human well-being and development than more traditional approaches which typically focus on utility or resources. This is illustrated by drawing on the results of a survey which investigated how ordinary people in South Africa view human well-being (a 'good' form of life). However, the results of this exercise indicate that the capability approach overlaps with both utility (happiness, pleasure, etc) and resource-based concepts of well-being. The distinctions between commodities (and their characteristics), human functioning and utility is less robust than Sen implies. In particular, the capability approach needs to make more space for the role of utility (defined broadly to include all valuable mental states) and say more about the material basis of well-being.
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First ed. publ. under the title :"India: economic development and social opportunity". Incl. bibl., index.
Article
Incl. bibl. notes, index.
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