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Publications (10 of 12) Show all publications
Alexopoulou, S. & Åström, J. (2022). How the Responsibility of Digital Support for Older People is Allocated? The Swedish Welfare System at the Crossroads. Research on Ageing and Social Policy, 10(1), 48-76
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How the Responsibility of Digital Support for Older People is Allocated? The Swedish Welfare System at the Crossroads
2022 (English)In: Research on Ageing and Social Policy, ISSN 2014-6728, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 48-76Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A great welfare challenge today is to promote opportunities for greater digitalization, while limiting social inequalities from digital divides, especially for older people. While the digital divide is a dynamic problem, shifting from physical access to skills and usage, public policies to close the divide do not necessarily follow. This study explores who is providing digital support in Sweden by looking at three institutions: (1) the municipal eldercare system, (2) popular education institutions, and (3) the family. The results show that the Swedish policy relies heavily on popular education and family arrangements, leaving many young-old Swedes in need of digital support without public support, while the opposite occurs for very old Swedes who are mostly consumers of welfare technologies. Issues of dependency or the other way around arise. Given this, the role of the Swedish welfare state, which sets the tone of the Swedish welfare regime,needs to be re-evaluated, especially in light of the demographic challenge (a growing number of older people).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hipatia Press, 2022
Keywords
ageing, digital divide, digital inclusion, welfare regime
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-96887 (URN)10.17583/rasp.8883 (DOI)000752470100002 ()
Available from: 2022-01-31 Created: 2022-01-31 Last updated: 2022-12-27Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2022). "Please Mind the Grey Digital Divide": An Analysis of Digital Public Policies in Light of the Welfare State (Sweden and Greece). (Doctoral dissertation). Örebro: Örebro University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Please Mind the Grey Digital Divide": An Analysis of Digital Public Policies in Light of the Welfare State (Sweden and Greece)
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the grey digital divide and digital policies in the divergent welfare regimes of Sweden and Greece. The grey digital divide is a serious problem not only for the individual but also for society. The grey digital divide signifies the inability of older people to utilize digital technology. In academic circles, the emphasis is mostly on the technological aspects of the grey digital divide or on the individual characteristics of older people as (non)users of digital tools. However, the problem is more complex in nature and is interconnected with the aging process and experience. 

The grey digital divide has multiple levels: the first concerns access, the second skills, and the third opportunities. This thesis concentrates mostly on the third level of digital divide because it touches on the welfare denominator. This particular level describes the encounters that older citizens need to have with the digital welfare state and the obstacles that they might face in doing this. Older digital “offliners” cannot take advantage of the welfare services that they need for their own well-being and cannot participate as equal citizens in digital space, which is expanding on a daily basis with new digital services.

This thesis is situated in the discipline of political science and draws on various disciplines, such as political science (welfare regime theory, neo-institutionalism, and path-dependency), public policy (active aging paradigm), gerontology (disengagement), sociology (exclusion via the digital-by-default approach), and ICT studies (the phenomenon of digitalization and the third-level of the digital divide). The thesis is a compilation of papers and consists of two qualitative case studies, a comparative study, and a scoping literature review. The key findings are as follows: 1) older people are a heterogeneous group and this applies in the digital world as well, with the appearance of heterogeneous digital profiles; 2) the welfare regime seems to affect the manifestation of the grey digital divide and there is a path-dependency pattern in this; 3) the more digitalized a society, the greater the chance that older people not using technology will be excluded from the digital and social spheres; and 4) digital policies indicate the priorities of every society and how older people are perceived as a social group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2022. p. 126
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 46
Keywords
grey digital divide, welfare regimes, digital public policies, digital technologies, older people
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-102757 (URN)9789175294810 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-01-20, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Fel ISSN-nr är angivet i den tryckta versionen av avhandlingen, 1651-1328.

Available from: 2022-12-16 Created: 2022-12-16 Last updated: 2023-02-03Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S., Åström, J. & Karlsson, M. (2022). The grey digital divide and welfare state regimes: a comparative study of European countries. Information Technology and People, 35(8), 273-291
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The grey digital divide and welfare state regimes: a comparative study of European countries
2022 (English)In: Information Technology and People, ISSN 0959-3845, E-ISSN 1758-5813, Vol. 35, no 8, p. 273-291Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Technology access, digital skills, and digital services are increasingly prerequisites for public life and accessing public services. The digital divide in contemporary societies matters for efforts to digitalize the welfare state. Research has already mapped individual determinants of digital exclusion and the existence of an age-related digital divide. However, far less attention has been paid to variations in digital inclusion between countries and to their potential explanations related to political systems. This study explores the influence of variations in welfare regimes on the digital divide among seniors (aged 65+) in Europe.

Design/methodology/approach: This article presents time-series cross-sectional analyses of the relationship between welfare state regimes and digital inclusion among seniors in European countries. The analyses are based on data from Eurostat, the World Bank, and the UN E-Government Survey.

Findings: The authors find extensive variation in the digital inclusion of citizens between welfare regimes and argue that considering regime differences improves the understanding of these variations. The findings indicate that the age-related digital divide seems to be least evident in countries with more universalistic welfare regimes and most evident in countries where seniors rely more on their families.

Originality/value: This is the first comparative study of the association between welfare state regimes and digital inclusion among seniors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022
Keywords
Digital divide, Digital inclusion, Seniors, Welfare regimes
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-100215 (URN)10.1108/ITP-11-2020-0803 (DOI)000828217000001 ()2-s2.0-85134625977 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-07-24 Created: 2022-07-24 Last updated: 2022-12-27Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2021). ‘Beneath This Mask There is More Than Flesh, Beneath This Mask There is an Idea’: Anonymous as the (Super)heroes of the Internet?. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, 34(1), 237-264
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Beneath This Mask There is More Than Flesh, Beneath This Mask There is an Idea’: Anonymous as the (Super)heroes of the Internet?
2021 (English)In: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, ISSN 0952-8059, E-ISSN 1572-8722, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 237-264Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Who is Anonymous? What is the group’s connection with hacktivism? Can we speak of an Internet group consisting of new ‘e-Robin Hoods’? Do modern heroes still exist as a source of inspiration? The answers to these questions are not unproblematic. Many would say that the group Anonymous falls into the contemporary hero category. If so, its members, Anons, could be deemed ‘reincarnations’ of the mythical Robin Hood but in digital form, since they tackle corruption, repression, and injustice, as he did. Others will disagree with this view. The only safe statement is that Anonymous constitutes a global, Internet-based social movement of mostly young and dissatisfied people who have decided to follow their own strategy to oppose established global governance and order. This paper sheds light on the latest hacking activity of Anonymous against several governmental websites in Greece. According to Anonymous, it sought to protect/defend Greek citizens suffering because of the financial crisis and to teach a ‘strong lesson’ to the elected politicians in office. Drawing on material from videos (uploaded on YouTube), online articles from Greek newspapers, and a few online articles from international media outlets, we attempt to understand whether Anonymous follows the long tradition of Robin Hood by acting as a heroic figure/icon. This paper contributes to the semiotics of hacktivism, but also to the further investigation of the identity of Anonymous as comprising ‘new Robin-Hoods’ based on its staged identity and actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2021
Keywords
Anonymous, Hackers, Hacktivism, Robin Hood, Internet
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Computer Science; Computer Technology; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74714 (URN)10.1007/s11196-019-09615-6 (DOI)000612377600013 ()2-s2.0-85062786839 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-18 Last updated: 2021-03-16Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. & Pavli, A. (2021). Responsible Citizens against an Irresponsible State: The Case of Greece amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 2(1), 9-16
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Responsible Citizens against an Irresponsible State: The Case of Greece amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
2021 (English)In: HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, ISSN 2732-6578, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 9-16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How is it possible for citizens to act responsibly if they live in an irresponsible state? This is the key question that this paper revolves around in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece. Individual responsibility is the dominant ‘mantra’ of post-modernity and is widely spread by the neoliberal dogma. The individual has to take care of him/herself in any possible way to avoid risks without depending so much on the benevolent state, which, in the developed world, takes the form of a welfare state. Thus, a new type of citizen appears, the “responsible citizen”. The oxymoron, however, in the Greek case is that the state and particularly the political elites maintain bad practices of the past without being able to overcome the country’s path-dependency structures by acting responsibly. The concept of “empathy” is undoubtedly the missing link in this intriguing puzzle of good governance. Will the Greek political elites be able to recognize and embrace empathy in practice?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens, Greece: Hellenic Association of Political Scientists, 2021
Keywords
responsibility, responsible citizens, irresponsible state, political elites, COVID-19, neoliberalism, empathy, Greece
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-93813 (URN)10.12681/hapscpbs.27646 (DOI)
Available from: 2021-08-22 Created: 2021-08-22 Last updated: 2021-08-23Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2021). “The Power of Language”: Young People in Greece as “Scapegoats” in Covid-19 Crisis. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 2(2), 9-13
Open this publication in new window or tab >>“The Power of Language”: Young People in Greece as “Scapegoats” in Covid-19 Crisis
2021 (English)In: HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, ISSN 2732-6578, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 9-13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Governments around the globe take measures to protect citizens against the coronavirus threat. At the end of the day, security becomes a top priority issue and therefore is included in almost every policy agenda. In light of this, some governments seem to victimize certain social groups when they are incapable o faddressing successfully the health crisis of Covid-19. An indicative example is the Greek government’s tactic (New Democracy Party) to blame young people for the spread of the virus, while the real ‘culprit’, according to some (Tziantzi & Papadopoulou, 2020), was the restart of tourist industry that resulted in a sharp rise of the Corona incidents. In doing so, language was the key ‘vehicle’ for this purpose along with statistical numbers, but the latter is a whole different discussion that this paper is not going to open. On the contrary, this paper constitutes a problematization on the usage of language for political reasons. Language is not a neutral tool but plays the games of political elites, while it has the power to create new scapegoats. Is this a wise political choice when Greek society encounters so many problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic? Logical reasoning says no. Will young people be the only exception to this rule? Certainty not, today new scapegoats come into light: citizens who refuse to be vaccinated and/or the sprayed’ ones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hellenic Association of Political Scientists, 2021
Keywords
language, ruling party, young individuals, scapegoats, victimization, coronavirus
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-97459 (URN)10.12681/hapscpbs.29486 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-02-11 Created: 2022-02-11 Last updated: 2022-02-11Bibliographically approved
Pavli, A. & Alexopoulou, S. (2021). Κοινωνική αποστασιοποίηση και ψηφιακός αναλφαβητισμός: Συζητώντας τις συνέπειες του Covid-19 στην ψυχική υγειά ευάλωτων ομάδων: [Social distancing and the digital divide: Discussing the effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of vulnerable groups]. Misfit / idees paraxenes, 2, 85-91
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Κοινωνική αποστασιοποίηση και ψηφιακός αναλφαβητισμός: Συζητώντας τις συνέπειες του Covid-19 στην ψυχική υγειά ευάλωτων ομάδων: [Social distancing and the digital divide: Discussing the effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of vulnerable groups]
2021 (Greek, Modern (1453-))In: Misfit / idees paraxenes, ISSN 2654-1963, Vol. 2, p. 85-91Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [el]

Η πανδημία του COVID-19 μπήκε στη ζωή μας και δεν άφησε κανέναν ανέγγιχτο. Καθημερινές συνήθειες άλλαξαν. Ωστόσο, ο αναγκαστικός ‘εγκλεισμός’ και η ‘κοινωνική αποστασιοποίηση’ οδήγησε ορισμένα άτομα να πληγούν συγκριτικά περισσότερο λόγω του ‘ιδιαίτερου’ δημογραφικού τους προφίλ, όπως οι ηλικιωμένοι και τα άτομα με αναπηρία. Η χρήση εναλλακτικών τρόπων επικοινωνίας και παροχής υπηρεσιών με βάση της νέες τεχνολογίες διαμορφώθηκε ως μονόδρομος. Τι γίνεται όμως με εκείνους που αδυνατούν να εκμεταλλευτούν τις δυνατότητες της εξ’ αποστάσεως επικοινωνίας και αλληλεπίδρασης, βιώνοντας τον ψηφιακό αναλφαβητισμό; Με φόντο την Ελλάδα θα μελετηθεί το ψηφιακό χάσμα (digital divide) και οι συνέπειες του στην ψυχική υγεία ευπαθών ομάδων.

Abstract [en]

The COVID-19 pandemic entered our lives and left no one untouched. Everyday habits changed. However, the imposed policy of 'social alienation' has led some individuals to suffer comparatively more because of their 'unique' demographic profile, such as the older adults and people with disabilities. The usage of alternative ways of communication and the provision of services based on new technologies was chosen as a one-way solution for all. But what about those who are unable to take advantage of the possibilities of these digital technologies? Against this background, the digital divide  and its consequences on the mental health of vulnerable groups will be studied in the Greek context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens: Ekdoseis Oposito, 2021
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-96124 (URN)
Available from: 2021-12-21 Created: 2021-12-21 Last updated: 2021-12-21Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2020). Borrowed Access: The Grey Digital Divide Meets the Familialist Welfare Model of Greece. The Journal of Aging and Social Change, 10(1), 15-33
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Borrowed Access: The Grey Digital Divide Meets the Familialist Welfare Model of Greece
2020 (English)In: The Journal of Aging and Social Change, ISSN 2576-5310, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 15-33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Worldwide, there is a debate on growing aging populations and how to help them remain active and independent forlonger. Digitalized societies offer, among other things, a range of online welfare services that virtually eliminate the distanceand delays between the state machinery and citizens. Aged people can benefit greatly from these online services, completingbureaucratic processes with the click of a button and from the safety of their homes, without waiting in long queues to beserved. In some countries, such as Greece, the persistence of a grey digital divide in which older people lack internet accessimpedes this significant opportunity. Our aim is to cast light on how the digital divide and seniors are described and positionedin the Greek digital discourse, using as a theoretical framework the existing culture (values) and the country’s current welfarestateformulation (a familialist model). To better understand these matters, relevant policy documents were analyzed and nineinterviews were conducted with elite public officials from the Greek Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications, andMedia. This article reached two key conclusions: 1) the digital divide in Greece is a complex matter with deep cultural roots;2) there are two distinct digital policies in Greece, i.e., the official policy targeting young people and their acquisition of moredigital skills, and the unofficial policy referring to seniors as having “borrowed access” to technology based on the support oftheir families and immediate social environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Common Ground Research Networks, 2020
Keywords
Familialist Welfare State, Seniors, Digital Divide, Digital Technologies, Social Exclusion
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81437 (URN)10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v10i01/15-33 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-05-01 Created: 2020-05-01 Last updated: 2022-12-27Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2020). Opening the Digital Pandora΄s Box: The Grey Digital Divide in Greece. Επιθεώρηση Υγείας-Health Review, 31(180), 14-17
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opening the Digital Pandora΄s Box: The Grey Digital Divide in Greece
2020 (English)In: Επιθεώρηση Υγείας-Health Review, ISSN 1105-9311, Vol. 31, no 180, p. 14-17Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Older adults constitute a viable resource in some countries of the European Union (EU), which is not found in the social margin that predominantly occurs in Greece. These countries have realised that the usage of digital technologies (ICT’s and the Internet) is an important tool for activating older adults, reducing their loneliness and a first-class opportunity for improving their daily life, e.g. through the use of telemedicine. By contrast, in Greece, which is defined by a rapidly ageing population, the discussion on the “grey digital divide” (the lack of access/usage of digital technologies) in relation to older individuals remains a problem that has not yet been sufficiently explored, while the formal policy is still at an embryonic stage with significant consequences for the entire Greek society. To conclude, the digital divide in Greece is a multi-dimensional matter that reflects the chronic pathogenies of the Greek state and a lack of political imagination to change the current situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hellenic Health Services Management Association, 2020
Keywords
Grey digital divide, older people, digital technologies, Greece
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-82240 (URN)
Available from: 2020-05-31 Created: 2020-05-31 Last updated: 2022-06-22Bibliographically approved
Alexopoulou, S. (2020). The portrait of older people as (non) users of digital technologies: A scoping literature review and a typology of digital older (non) users. Gerontechnology, 19(3), 1-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The portrait of older people as (non) users of digital technologies: A scoping literature review and a typology of digital older (non) users
2020 (English)In: Gerontechnology, ISSN 1569-1101, E-ISSN 1569-111X, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 1-15Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The images of older people while using (or not) technology is a theme that plays a crucial role not only in the implementation of policies, but also in the design of e-services or more broadly e-governance. Older people is a complex and a non-homogenous group that requires public (welfare) services which in many cases have been moved to a digital interface. The real challenge is to provide these services without excluding anyone.

Objective: This paper aims to investigate how older people are represented as (non)users of technology in the digital literature and public discourse and to produce a typology of older digital users based on the work of Schneider and Ingram (1993). Method: The study followed established methods for a scoping literature review to discover the profile of older digital (non) users and their relationship with technology. Results: Based on this literature review, two positive profiles of different power were found: the silver surfers or “athletes” who are proficient digital users and the “older people with borrowed access” to digital technologies who are less powerful and independent while using technology. On the other hand, we also found some negative images of older adults: the “laidback” who are reluctant to use digital technologies but they have the necessary intellectual capacity to acquire IT skills on their own (strong in terms of power). The biggest group entails older people as technophobic, non-users, want-nots, digitally backward/internet laggards, digital immigrants, needy and those who are unaware of their digital condition.

Conclusion: This research could offer a substantial contribution to policy-makers and public servants to provide better and friendlier online services, digital tools and applications in conjunction with the supply of IT courses for older individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Society for Gerontechnology, 2020
Keywords
Grey digital divide, older people, ICTs, internet, public policy
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-87075 (URN)10.4017/gt.2020.19.003.11 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-11-02 Created: 2020-11-02 Last updated: 2022-12-27Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8391-5606

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