In the UK and across Europe many policies have been developed to improve individuals’ Internet access and skills to ensure they can fully participate in all aspects of the information society. At the same time, a great deal of academic work has been conducted which has led to detailed knowledge about who is and who is not digitally included. However, as the Internet becomes an increasingly embedded part of everyday reality for many people, research on digital inclusion has been criticized. There are concerns about the lack of strong theoretical developments within the field and the limitations of the measures typically used in this research, in particular, those around skills, engagement and impact of use. In this project, we aim to address these criticisms through:
developing theoretically informed measures of people’s digital skills, the ways that they use the Internet, and the tangible outcomes this use has in their lives; and
pilot-testing these measures on Internet users in the UK and the Netherlands.
This research is currently supported by the John Fell OUP Research Fund at the University of Oxford.