Empowerement and Autonomy in the Digital World
The ‘digital turn’ affecting both private and public services has led to an increased risk amongst the general population of being digitally excluded. Though significant scientific effort is given to research on e-inclusion in Flanders, Wallonia and Belgium as a separate entity, knowledge is lacking about the extent to which the digitisation of services, routines and practices is hampering the ability of individuals to participate fully in society. The IDEALiC project aims to address these issues by focusing on setting the new scene of e-inclusion for the upcoming years.
Looking at digital media through a life course perspective
The IDEALiC project is built upon an interdisciplinary methodological approach that combines qualitative user-oriented research, comparative research, policy analysis, and a basic quantitative data-analysis from existing data sources. The core approach of this project is to consider the experiences with digital tools and services from a life course perspective with respondents equally distributed across three specifc life –stage: Life stage 1 (18-30); life stage 2(31-50); life stage 3(51-70). The strength of this approach is that it allows to move beyond the emphasis on quantitative data from a qualitative analysis to show hat (1) digital inequalities are highly related to life stages; and (2) various aspects define the daily digital needs and wants whithin a specific life stage. Moreover, digital inequalities are no longer defined by access to tools but by access to services, as individuals no longer confine themselves to a unique medium but use a number of tools to achieve specific communication needs.
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IDEALIC is a 4 year research project (2016-2019) financed by the federal governemnent (BELSpo) and conducted in common with SMIT-IMEC-VUB and the research team of FTU Namur/UCL . More info on the project and its partners is available on the project website: https://www.idealic.be