After some readings and to watch the lectures, I started to think about the last two weeks discussion. The impact and how platformisation changed, if changed the dynamics of inequalities and power?! As we still have more than 40% of the population without access to the internet in the world. With the COVID crisis, we could see how those social structures, are also structured in the digital society, network and defines digital access. A great example was to shift face to face class to online classes, and several students do not have devices and/or internet access to study. How the shift to online, that happened when we started to need to stay [also who stayed in quarantine?!] home, impacted people’s lives, as their access was limited?!
I also, connected with class mobility, in Brazil [my country], It takes on average 9 generations for those born in a low-income family to approach mean income [to have social mobility], when you are a black person. The social situation will shape your network, your access, your connections, your access to information.
There is a research/study that asks general people, the working class, “what is the internet?!” and the question was “Facebook”. Just with the answer, it already can demonstrate how inequalities can shape how we look to the internet, interact with it.
The next billion users countries are more recognized for use digital platform to leisure and as we go up to social status, you can see the difference of how to use the internet and digital platforms, focus on education and work relation.
LinkedIn can be an example, as all your social “network” will be transferred and connected to the platform, so you need to have good connections, but your parents and family occupation will determinate that, your choices, your access to those connections, to information and after to opportunities.
Race and class can define the type of information you will have access, and your connections, those two combined will define how far you will go. It is not a matter of hard work or intelligence, it is a matter of social structure in digital and “analogical” society [if still exist].
We use a term “to hack the system” in Brazil when you somehow access spaces and start to make something that will someday be social mobility, and as being the first generation in college [of the whole family, not only parents], speaking another language, studying abroad, I hacked the system as I black women [colorism gave me some access], although, it is a beginning of social mobility.
Beer, David (2009), Power through the algorithm? participatory web cultures and the technological unconscious.
Gregory, K. 2020 forthcoming. “’My life is more valuable than this’: Understanding Risk Among On-Demand Food Couriers in Edinburgh.” Work, Employment and Society
Pathways for Prosperit Commission Technology & Inclusive Development “Meaningful Connections for the Next 3 Billion” Retrieved October 27, 2020 from https://pathwayscommission.bsg.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-11/digital_lives_report.pdf
Selwyn, Neil (2019) “What is Digital Sociology?”.
van Dijk, Jan A. G. M. (2013) “Inequalities in the Network Society” (105-124) in K. Orton-Johnson & N. Prior (Eds.), Digital sociology: critical perspectives.