A qualitative analysis of the development of digital autonomy from within a life course perspective. Digital Autonomy from within the life course

Dana Schurmans, Laura Faure, Carole Bonnetier, Périne Brotcorne, Axelle Asmar, Patricia Vendramin

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This deliverable D.2.3. “A Qualitative Analysis of the Development of Digital Autonomy from Within a Life Course Perspective” examines the question of the uses of digital technologies and, in particular, the issues related to the increasing digitization of society and its impacts throughout a life course. Based on an empirical set of 85 interviews, this research report questions the experiences of users and the way in which the relationship that individualsmaintain with ICTs throughout different life stages influences their uses.Although uses are often thought of in terms of competences and needs, this report focuses on the notion of choice in diverse manners and seeks to understand how choice regarding ICT uses is more or less constrained by the situations an individual has to face during his or her life course. In doing so, this analysis builds on a relational approach to digital autonomy that takes distance from the technical and competences-driven conceptions of autonomy, and rather sees digital autonomy as the room for manoeuvre an individual possesses in the face of the use of digital technologies in diverse situations of daily life – work, school, parenthood, etc. Here, autonomy should not be understood as an individual attribute, but rather as a particular relationship with society, where everyone is able to take advantage of resources made available by society without the assistance of institutions. Thus, at a time when the choices of uses are increasingly constrained by a form of digitization by default, how should the social and digital inclusion of each and the means of autonomous participation in society be approached? The first part of this deliverable develops the empirical framework used to collect and analyse the data. The second part proposes an analysis of representations and perceptions of digitalchoice according to three life stage groups: young adults, adults and seniors. Then, the third part moves to broader representations of digital technologies constructed during experiences of uses in daily life. The fourth part focuses on life trajectories and the different ways in which life choices can be made, in order to highlight the non-linearity of a life course and the way in which individuals position themselves in regard to their life trajectory. Finally, the last part proposes a more general discussion and a return to recent scientific literature, in order to nourish our analysis and to consider digital inclusion and societal participation of individuals, in a contemporary society where the choices made with regard to the digital seem to be more and more constrained by various macro and micro mechanisms of changes
Originele taal-2English
TitelA qualitative analysis of the development of digital autonomy from within a life course perspective.
SubtitelDigital Autonomy within the life course
Pagina's1-129
Aantal pagina's129
StatusPublished - 1 mrt 2019

Bibliografische nota

Faure, L., Schurmans, D., Bonnetier, C., Brotcorne, P., Asmar, A. & Vendramin, P. (2019). A qualitative analysis of the development of digital autonomy from within a life course perspective. Rapport pour BESLPO. UCL Université catholique de Louvain

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