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Universidade Lusófona

Seminar Unveils Insights into Socio-Digital Inequalities Among Youth

In a thought-provoking seminar held on May 3rd, Project DIGcapabilities brought together a cadre of national and international researchers to delve into the intricate realm of socio-digital inequalities impacting today's youth.

Ellen J. Helsper, Professor of Digital Inequalities at LSE, UK, opened the seminar with a compelling argument: understanding youth inequalities necessitates a deep dive into the socio-digital ecologies that shape their lives, including their practices, motivations, attitudes, and dispositions.

Teresa Sofia Castro and Maria José Brites echoed this sentiment, focusing on digital rights and media literacy within the context of socio-digital inequalities experienced by institutionalized youths. Their insights underscored the critical need to empower vulnerable youth with essential digital skills.

Gilda Seddighi, a Senior Researcher at NORCE, shifted the spotlight to welfare service providers, unraveling how they perceive the digital literacies of youth not engaged in education, employment, or training. This perspective is vital for crafting targeted interventions and support systems.

Christina Ortner, Professor of Online Communication at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, shared findings from a mixed-method study on socially disadvantaged adolescents, with a keen focus on migrants. The study shed light on the unique challenges faced by this demographic group.

John Magnus Ragnhildson Dahl, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bergen, presented poignant reflections from ethnographic fieldwork among teenage boys, highlighting the story of Mohammad, a practicing Muslim from an Arab country grappling with his identity in a foreign school environment.

Rebecca L. Radlick, a Senior Researcher at NORCE, unveiled results from an innovative project adapting an e-health platform into a mentoring program. The initiative aimed to strengthen multicultural youths' social capital, bridging gaps in support and opportunities.

Lastly, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Professor of Learning Technology and Communication at The Open University, UK, shared experiences with digital services among minoritized ethnic populations, shedding light on the importance of inclusive digital practices.

The seminar served as a crucible for meaningful discussions, offering valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of socio-digital inequalities among youth. As Project DIGcapabilities continues its mission to foster digital capabilities among youth, these insights will undoubtedly inform and shape future interventions.

In an effort to empower youth with essential digital skills, a groundbreaking project has been launched in Norway. With digital technology becoming increasingly integrated into daily life, especially in highly digitalized societies like Norway, the need to equip young people with digital capabilities has never been more pressing.

Despite the omnipresence of digital technology, there remains a significant knowledge gap regarding how young people in vulnerable situations, such as those not in school, unemployed, or not in training (NEET), can effectively utilize digital tools for their benefit.

Funded by the Research Council of Norway, the project is spearheaded by the NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, in collaboration with a consortium comprising Lusófona University, Stiftinga Vestlandsforsking, and The Open University.

The initiative kicked off with a dynamic meeting in Bergen, Norway, on May 2nd and 3rd, where the project’s consortium convened to lay the groundwork for empowering youth through digital literacy. For Lusofona University, CICANT, Maria José Brites and Teresa Sofia Castro are the representing partners.

As the project progresses, it aims to bridge the digital divide by providing young people, especially those in vulnerable situations, with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today's digital world. Through collaborative efforts and innovative approaches, the project seeks to unlock the potential of youth, ensuring they can fully harness the benefits of digital technology.

  • published 11 September 2023
  • modified 08 May 2024