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How the Responsibility of Digital Support for Older People is Allocated? The Swedish Welfare System at the Crossroads
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap. (Successful Ageing Program)ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8391-5606
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7291-2875
2022 (Engelska)Ingår i: Research on Ageing and Social Policy, ISSN 2014-6728, Vol. 10, nr 1, s. 48-76Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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).

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Hipatia Press , 2022. Vol. 10, nr 1, s. 48-76
Nyckelord [en]
ageing, digital divide, digital inclusion, welfare regime
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Statskunskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-96887DOI: 10.17583/rasp.8883ISI: 000752470100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-96887DiVA, id: diva2:1633461
Tillgänglig från: 2022-01-31 Skapad: 2022-01-31 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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Alexopoulou, SofiaÅström, Joachim

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