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Journal Article

Does the Internet help to overcome social exclusion?  pp139-146

Paul Foley

© Oct 2004 Volume 2 Issue 2, ECEG 2004, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp75 - 146

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This paper describes one of the first studies to investigate the take‑up and impact of ICT amongst socially excluded groups. 130 people took part in 20 focus group discussions. The study: Investigated the factors that influence the adoption and use of the Internet by socially excluded groups; Identified tangible economic and social benefits arising from having access and making use of the Internet; Recommends policies and future action concerning the targeting of resources and the design and likely success of current interventions to promote Internet use. The study shows that some clear and quantifiable benefits can arise from Internet access by socially excluded groups. If the level of use of online information is used as a surrogate for beneficial impact amongst socially excluded groups it is apparent that the Internet is not just providing wider opportunities; these opportunities are actively being seized by socially excluded groups.


Keywords: Social exclusion, digital divide, Internet use, policy impact, benefits of ICT


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