Digital exclusion: Conceptual and methodological approaches

Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 12:00-16:30

Online workshop by INEQ and DigiIN Consortium (SRC)

two people looking at a screen


Digitalisation is typically seen as an overwhelmingly positive development. Less is talked about digital exclusion, which is one aspect of wider social inequality, and is more widespread than many people are aware of. What concepts can we use to best understand digital exclusion, digital inequalities and their connections to wider social inequalities? How can we ensure that no one is left behind in a rapidly digitising society?

To address these questions, this interdisciplinary workshop brings together scholars from various social and educational sciences.

The programme includes invited presentations by a keynote speaker and six leading researchers looking at the key concepts that can be used to connect digital and wider social exclusion. The presentations tackle a variety of questions, concepts and challenges related to digital exclusion for example among different demographic groups such as migrants, young people, older adults and socially marginalised people; as well as in the contexts of platform economy and smart cities. The workshop concludes with a panel discussion in which five esteemed scholars discuss the key concepts and methodologies.

The online research workshop is organised by INEQ in cooperation with the Strategic Research Council funded ‘Towards socially inclusive digital society – DigiIN’ Consortium.

The workshop will be held online via zoom. Pre-registration to the event is obligatory. 

Please register for the workshop via E-form by Tuesday, June 1.
Zoom link and further details will be sent ONLY to registered participants closer to the event.

Facebook event

Program (minor changes possible)

Location: Online via Zoom (registration required)

Finnish local time (UTC+3h)

12:00–12:10 Opening by Professor Anne Kouvonen (DigiIN, University of Helsinki, UH) & Director Meri Kulmala (INEQ, UH)

12:10–13:00 Keynote: Professor Ellen Helsper (London School of Economics, LSE): The Digital Disconnect

13:00–13:10 Short break

13:10–13:30 Presentation 1: Postdoctoral Researcher Ulla Buchert (DigiIN, UH): Social Citizenship in the Time of Screen-level Bureaucracies: Independent or Dependent Inclusion?

13:30–13:50 Presentation 2: Senior Lecturer Päivi Armila (Classifiable Digital Society: Unequal Lives of Young People in Socio-Technological Imperatives and Imaginations- DEQUAL, University of Eastern Finland, UEF): Young people's asymmetrical agencies within imaginaries and imperatives of digitalisation: Outsiders as an example

13:50–14:10 Presentation 3: Principal Lecturer Soile Juujärvi (DigiIN; Laurea University of Applied Sciences): Elaborating Peer Support for Digitally and Socially Excluded People

14:10–14:20 Short break

14:20–14:40 Presentation 4: Senior Researcher Riitta Hänninen (Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care, University of Jyväskylä, JUY): Digital repertoires and technology use in later life

14:40–15:00 Presentation 5: Project Manager Maija Mattila (Kalevi Sorsa Foundation): Platforms, employment and exclusion

15:00–15:20 Presentation 6: TBC (smart cities)

15:20–15:30 Short break

15:30–16:15 Panel discussion: 

  • Professor Alex van Deursen (Communication Science, University of Twente) - TBC
  • Professor Risto Kunelius (Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities HSSH, UH)
  • Associate Professor Minna Ruckenstein (Center for Consumer Society Research, UH)
  • Research Professor Tarja Heponiemi (DigiIN; Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL) - TBC

16:15–16:30 Closing remarks