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Life in the digital slow lane: how deprived young people are set up to fail

Leaton Gray, S; Mägdefrau, J; Riel, M; (2021) Life in the digital slow lane: how deprived young people are set up to fail. British Journal of Educational Studies 10.1080/00071005.2021.1919596. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The phenomenon of digital differentiation, or stark variations in ability to access Internet hardware and/or infrastructure, has been a feature of provision since its early days. This article explores the impact of digital differentiation on two groups of young people, in England and Germany. It is based on fieldwork that took place during the academic year 2018-2019, just before the global pandemic threw the issue of equality of Internet access into sharp relief. The article begins by describing the empirical design of the My Life Online project, including background, sampling, instruments, ethical aspects and the initial data analysis approach taken to ensure reliability and validity. It then develops a further analysis drawing on Halford and Savage’s hybrid Bourdieu/Actor Network Theory model (2010) to map out the socio-technical network surrounding the young people in our study. In this way we identify areas of change and conflict that compound existing social deprivation. We conclude by making a case for a better education policy awareness of the key issues, and more equitable distribution of national infrastructure moving forwards.

Type: Article
Title: Life in the digital slow lane: how deprived young people are set up to fail
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2021.1919596
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2021.1919596
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: algorithm, technology, discrimination, digital identity, learning, time, pandemic
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129205
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