The digital divide and social inclusion among refugee migrants: a case in regional Australia

Alam, Khorshed and Imran, Sophia (2015) The digital divide and social inclusion among refugee migrants: a case in regional Australia. Information Technology and People, 28 (2). pp. 344-365. ISSN 0959-3845

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors which influence refugee migrants’ adoption of digital technology and its relevance to their social inclusion in Australia. This research developed a conceptual framework keeping the 'use' of digital technology as the centre-piece of the digital divide. The empirical data were derived from a series of focus group discussions with refugee migrants in an Australian regional city, Toowoomba in Queensland. There is a digital divide among refugee migrant groups and it is based on inequalities in physical access to and use of digital technology, the skills necessary to use the different technologies effectively and the ability to pay for the services. The opportunities to use digital technology could support the social inclusion of refugee migrant groups in the broader Australian community. Further research is required to examine whether this digital divide is unique in the regional context or common to Australian society and to confirm factors that might contribute significantly to refugee migrants’ social inclusion. This paper determined the role digital technology can play in building social capital and hence social inclusion among refugee migrant groups. Many of the factors identified as influencing refugee migrants’ use of digital technology can inform the Australian government and the information and communication technology industry in devising supportive policies and plans to reduce the risk of social exclusion, alienation and marginalisation among refugee migrant groups.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 02:58
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 04:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: social inclusion, digital divide, cross-cultural issues, Australia, information, refugee migrants
Fields of Research : 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080602 Computer-Human Interaction
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140218 Urban and Regional Economics
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9102 Microeconomics > 910202 Human Capital Issues
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/ITP-04-2014-0083

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