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E-Inclusion Policies for Contemporary Knowledge Economies and Societies: An Examination of the Main Issues

posted Dec 22, 2014, 4:53 AM by Naomi Naghi   [ updated Feb 27, 2016, 11:54 AM ]
Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 5, Issue: 1
, pp. 77-89
Date: July 2014
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: Contemporary knowledge societies are largely driven by the dynamics of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). ICTs contribute to economic growth, innovation, well-being and social change. There are substantial benefits as there are problems. One of the most alarming problems here is the inequality between people who have access to new technologies and to others who have not: this phenomenon is known as “digital divide”. Although this form of divide still exists, especially in the developing world, it is gradually being replaced by a new “use divide”. In this work, we examine key policies and initiatives aimed at greater digital/social coherence, or “e-inclusion”. At first, we briefly examine knowledge acquisition and its connection with present-day information processing activities. Next, we look at knowledge diffusion and its problems. Evidence of the main on-going and planned e-inclusion strategies is also presented from the developed and developing worlds. Known policy applications highlight the complexity of national and international policies for better digital/social coherence. Finally, it is noted that a new form of digital capital is needed today, comprised of high-capacity networks and digital skills.

Keywords: Information & communication technologies; Knowledge acquisition; Inclusion; Sustainability; Ethics; Social cohesion; Digital convergence.
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