The role of online networks in supporting young people's digital inclusion and the implications for Australian government policies

Notley, Tanya M. (2008) The role of online networks in supporting young people's digital inclusion and the implications for Australian government policies. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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This study examines young people’s internet access and use in nine locations in Queensland, Australia. The primary aim of the research is to assess if internet use supports young people’s social inclusion: that is, if internet use supports young people to participate in society in ways they have most reason to value.

The research findings demonstrate that the digital divide in Queensland – the gap between citizens with and without access to ICTs – continues to inhibit young people’s ability to participate online. This divide is embedded within historic, economic, social and cultural inequalities. To address this, this study proposes that a digital inclusion framework, founded on the concept of social inclusion, offers the Australian federal and state governments an opportunity to extend digital divide policies so that they connect with and complement broader social policy goals.

The research outcomes also illustrate that creative uses of online networks provide a powerful means through which young people can participate in a networked society. While young people’s access to a range of ICTs impacts on their ability to use online networks, gradations of use, social networks and informal learning contexts frequently act as mediators to support effective internet use. This study contends that by understanding the social benefits of young people’s online network use and the role that mediators play in different environments, we can move towards a policy framework that supports equitable opportunities for young people’s digital inclusion.

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ID Code: 19097
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Collis, Christy & Flew, Terry
Keywords: internet, youth, young people, new media, information and communication technologies, ICTs, internet, digital inclusion, digital divide, social inclusion, social policy, online networks, network society, social benefits, Queensland, Australia
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2009 05:23
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:41

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