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The Digital Generation?: Children, ICT and the Everyday Nature of Social Exclusion

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In this paper we explore the potentially inclusionary and exclusionary implications of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for children through an examination of ICT policies and practices within UK schools. We begin by outlining the rhetoric of inclusion evident in UK government policy and by reflecting on how these discourses are mobilised in three case-study schools. We go on to consider issues of social exclusion, demonstrating that both material and social factors can prevent access to appropriate computer technology. In particular, we emphasise the importance of the way that children negotiate the meanings and use of computers through their everyday practices within the classroom. The paper concludes by arguing that only when we recognise that children’s use of computers is about not only the broad-scale distribution of resources but also children’s everyday social relations can we hope to institute policies that promote an inclusive ‘information society’.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK 2: Department of Geography, University of Loughborough, Loughborough, UK 3: Geography Discipline, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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