Offline social ties and online use of computers: A study of disabled youth and their use of ICT advances

  • Söderström S
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This article investigates how differences in social ties lead to differences in the social use of information and communication technology (ICT) and vice versa. The article draws on a qualitative study in the field of disability studies. Through this study of a marginalized subgroup of youth, the article advances insight into the permeability of the real and the virtual and extends the notion of established concepts of social ties and digital differentiation. The youth in the current study are 23 disabled Norwegians aged 15–20 years. The analysis is based on the principles of grounded theory and is characterized by a constant content comparative process. The outcome of this analysis shows how social ties of a marginalized subgroup of young people hold different characteristics than established notions anticipate, how these characteristics are vital in youths’ interaction in offline and online life and how this interaction implies a mixed reality.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Digital differentiation
  • Disabled youth
  • ICT
  • Mixed reality
  • Social ties

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  • Sylvia Söderström

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