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A stigma power perspective on digital government service avoidance

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Abstract

The digital-by-default policy for government services implemented in many European countries can pose challenges to marginalized citizens, such as people with disabilities. Prior research on electronic inclusion and the digital divide has mainly considered technology-related concerns, such as Internet anxiety, preventing people with disabilities from using digital government services. Yet, these concerns may insufficiently account for the fact that people with disabilities may suspect that governments provide new services only to reduce costs and forgo the need for more meaningful social change. Therefore, we draw from stigma power theory to understand how perceptions of stereotyping and discrimination contribute to the avoidance of digital government services among people with disabilities. Our results indicate that overcoming underutilization of digital government services among people with disabilities requires a holistic approach by addressing technology-related as well as stigma-related concerns.

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Firms are increasing their investments in collaboration technologies in order to leverage the intellectual resources embedded in their employees. Research on post-adoption use of technology suggests that the true gains from such investments are realized when users explore various system features and attempt to incorporate them into their work practices. However, the literature has been silent about how to promote such behavior when individuals are embedded in team settings, where members' actions are interdependent. This research develops a multilevel model that theorizes the cross-level influence of team empowerment on individual exploration of collaboration technology. Further, it identifies two cognitions-intention to continue exploring and expectation to continue exploring-that are oriented toward exploring ways to incorporate implemented technology into daily work routines over time. A 12-month field study of 212 employees in 48 organizational work teams was conducted to test the multilevel research model. The results provide support for the hypotheses, with team empowerment having a positive cross-level influence on intention to continue exploring and expectation to continue exploring and these, in turn, mediating the cross-level influence of team empowerment on individual exploration of collaboration technology.
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Many authors have used the diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory of Rogers (1995) to study factors affecting citizen e-Gov adoption. But none of these authors studied the moderating role of the digital divide on the relationship between innovation characteristics and veterans' intention to adopt e-Gov. Our research model postulates that a veteran's intention to adopt e-Gov services is determined by the interaction between the digital divide and five innovation characteristics: relative advantage, perceived compatibility, perceived complexity, subjective norms and perceived risk. Data was collected from 183 veterans in a US state where a government website is designed to deliver e-services to veterans. We found that the digital divide did not moderate the effect of relative advantage and subjective norms on the veteran decision to adopt e-Gov services. However, the digital divide moderates the effect of some factors: perceived compatibility, perceived complexity and perceived risk. Discussion and implications are provided.
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People with disabilities routinely face a dilemma in dealing with patronizing help: While accepting unsolicited assistance may be harmful for its recipients, confronting the helper can lead to negative interpersonal repercussions. Across two studies, participants were presented with a scenario depicting an interaction between a blind target and a sighted pedestrian and asked to evaluate the behaviors of the characters involved. Study 1 showed that, whereas blind participants considered both patronizing and hostile treatment as inappropriate responses to the blind target’s request for information, sighted participants saw patronizing help as significantly more appropriate than openly hostile treatment. Study 2 further demonstrated that, among sighted participants, blind targets were viewed as less warm and more rude when confronting benevolent versus hostile discrimination. These findings highlighted the difficulty of confronting patronizing treatment and have important implications for people with disabilities as well as other patronized minorities more generally.
Chapter
Stereotype threat is partly situational. It is induced by features of the situation that can be changed and can be minimized by teaching students adaptive ways of coping with it. Stereotypes can spoil a person's experience–in school or in many social situationsStereotype threat arises in situations where a negative stereotype is relevant to evaluating performance. Thus, people in stereotype threatening situations appear to be thinking about the stereotype and its implications. In addition to whatever thoughts they bring to bear on their test, they are also contending with the stereotype and the extra burden of the possibility of confirming it. Psychological research shows that stereotypes are more than just benign “pictures in the head.” Rather, they are expectations that can undermine performance, either through prompting differential treatment of the stereotyped or by inducing stereotype threat in the stereotyped. Most likely, both processes occur at the same time in a self-confirming spiral of low expectations, hindered performance, and threatened belongingness. Test performance is but one manifestation of stereotype threat. The psychological immune system rationalizes, minimizes, and attempts to neutralize threats to the self. Research suggests that how people contend and cope with the unnerving expectations can have a dramatic effect on their academic achievement.
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By employing an extended social cognitive theory, this study examines factors (such as outcome expectation, affect, anxiety, self-efficacy and social influence) influencing intention to adopt an electronic government system called online public grievance redressal system (OPGRS) in context of India. The extended social cognitive theory (SCT) was validated using 419 responses collected from eight selected cities in India. The empirical outcomes of the proposed model indicated the significant relationships of seven hypothesised relationships between six constructs. This is the first study, which has used the SCT model to understand the adoption of an e-government system. The policy implication provided in this research can help the government to improve upon the effectiveness and quality of the system and the level of social impact on the users by employing the project champions. It also helps in enhancing their positive feelings toward adopting this system and fully utilise the potential of the OPGRS as a useful tool toward a transparent and corruption free society.
Article
Critics of labeling theory vigorously dispute Scheff's (1966) provocative etiological hypothesis and downplay the importance of factors such as stigma and stereotyping. We propose a modified labeling perspective which claims that even if labeling does not directly produce mental disorder, it can lead to negative outcomes. Our approach asserts that socialization leads individuals to develop a set of beliefs about how most people treat mental patients. When individuals enter treatment, these beliefs take on new meaning. The more patients believe that they will be devalued and discriminated against, the more they feel threatened by interacting with others. They may keep their treatment a secret, try to educate others about their situation, or withdraw from social contacts that they perceive as potentially rejecting. Such strategies can lead to negative consequences for social support networks, jobs, and self-esteem. We test this modified labeling perspective using samples of patients and untreated community residents, and find that both believe that "most people" will reject mental patients. Additionally, patients endorse strategies of secrecy, withdrawal, and education to cope with the threat they perceive. Finally, patients' social support networks are affected by the extent to which they fear rejection and by the coping responses they adopt to deal with their stigmatized status.