Can the digital revolution help us to tackle existing inequalities, or does it leave some young people even further behind? Is the digital world equally accessible to all young people? What are some of the inherent inequalities within the digital sphere? Do digital tools enable youth organisations, youth workers or state bodies to “reach out” to marginalised young people?
Digital methods, tools and platforms, and their unexplored potential in the youth sector, have created much enthusiasm within the youth field. This Youth Knowledge publication explores the intersection between digitalisation and social inclusion of young people, reflecting especially on how digitalisation affects young people’s lives, and what the role of youth policy, youth work and youth research can be in this respect.
In these 16 chapters, the authors critically examine if and how digitalisation can support the quest for social inclusion, ranging from the exploration of policies, tools and platforms available to young people and youth workers in Europe, supporting young people’s access to education and employment opportunities, opening up avenues for digital youth work, providing opportunities for participation for young people with disabilities, channels of integration for migrant communities and young refugees across Europe and support networks for young LGBTI persons.
While there is an acknowledgement of the potential for the youth sector to use the possibilities of digitalisation to address social inequality, the authors also emphasise that this does not happen automatically, and more reflection is needed regarding the accessibility of technology and how our digital approaches can be made inclusive for young people from all backgrounds.