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Borrowed Access: The Grey Digital Divide Meets the Familialist Welfare Model of Greece
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap. (successful ageing)ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8391-5606
2020 (Engelska)Ingår i: The Journal of Aging and Social Change, ISSN 2576-5310, Vol. 10, nr 1, s. 15-33Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Common Ground Research Networks , 2020. Vol. 10, nr 1, s. 15-33
Nyckelord [en]
Familialist Welfare State, Seniors, Digital Divide, Digital Technologies, Social Exclusion
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Statskunskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81437DOI: 10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v10i01/15-33OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-81437DiVA, id: diva2:1427818
Tillgänglig från: 2020-05-01 Skapad: 2020-05-01 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-12-27Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. "Please Mind the Grey Digital Divide": An Analysis of Digital Public Policies in Light of the Welfare State (Sweden and Greece)
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>"Please Mind the Grey Digital Divide": An Analysis of Digital Public Policies in Light of the Welfare State (Sweden and Greece)
2022 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Örebro: Örebro University, 2022. s. 126
Serie
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 46
Nyckelord
grey digital divide, welfare regimes, digital public policies, digital technologies, older people
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-102757 (URN)9789175294810 (ISBN)
Disputation
2023-01-20, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Anmärkning

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

Tillgänglig från: 2022-12-16 Skapad: 2022-12-16 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-02-03Bibliografiskt granskad

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