Disadvantaged groups, digital inclusion and media literacy policies in Europe: reviewing literature

TitleDisadvantaged groups, digital inclusion and media literacy policies in Europe: reviewing literature
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Pinto, M.
Affiliation (1st Author)CECS - University of Minho
Section or WGMedia Education Research Section
DateThurs 27 June
Slot CodeMERT1a
Slot Code (Keyword)MERT1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session TitleMedia Education Policies in Evolution: Shaping the Agenda
Submission ID7217

The European Union goal for 2020 is to reduce by 20 million the number of poor and socially excluded (nearly 80 million - 16% of EU 27, in 2010, according to Eurostat). However, after years of decline, the rate of the population at poverty risk and social exclusion reversed direction and began to rise since 2009. As the European Commission itself points out, “[i]t is clear that the downturn has hit hard the most disadvantaged, while at the same time jeopardising budgetary efforts which target these groups" (EU Council conclusions of 11 May 2010). The concept of disadvantaged group can be approached from different angles and with different frameworks.  It may refer to people and communities “who suffer from infrastructural disparities, physical or mental disability, ethnic minority or immigration, or adults disintegrated from the job market, from lifelong learning and mainstream society” (Silver, 2007). It may also refer to those who feel victims of “denied access to the tools needed for self-sufficiency”and of barriers which create a gap between the majority of the population and them (Mayer, 2002: 2)   (vg. autonomy, self-respect, community o support, health, information, employment, education, media literacy …). Over the last decade, EU policies have established a close relationship between e-inclusion and broader social inclusion agendas. The Riga Declaration (2006) defined e-inclusion as “both inclusive ICT and the use of ICT to achieve wider inclusion objectives” and identified, as one of its six priorities, "digital literacy and competence actions, in particular through formal or informal education systems, building on existing initiatives (…)”. In this review, it is intended to analyze the extent to which the enunciation of policies and the report of practices combine and bring together different fields and traditions of literacy or, on the contrary, show a split between a more instrumental approach and a more critical one. On the other side, the aim is also to assess to what extent this convergent approach is present in e-inclusion policies regarding disadvantaged groups. Apart from scientific literature (articles and books), the paper reviews official documents from the European Union and the member States, reports of projects and programmes, statistic data, among others.

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