Social consequences of connecting low-income communities
Lecture presented at : Electronically Enabling Communities for An Information Society : A colloquium - Prato, Italy 15-16 september 2003
Summary : This paper demonstrates how adults in low-income communities seize new technologies to bridge geographic, social, literacy, cultural and language isolation and seek education and employment opportunities. Two research projects that use digital technologies to improve the economic and social lives of people in low-incomes communities in New Zealand are examined to look at the relationship between ICT and the promotion of social inclusion. Using Putnam’s concept of social capital on a stylised version of the inclusive economy, we ask how newly acquired computer literacy and other skills can generate confidence to run for office on a school or church committee and seek employment and how the enjoyment of email and genealogy search motivates adults to acquire advanced ICT skills and qualifications.