Access and Participation Inequalities: Implications for Online Communities
Please read the Virtual Event Code of Conduct. We will be recording the event presentations, but not discussions.
This event will take place May 19, 2023 at 10:00am PT (17:00-UTC). It will feature Professor Hernan Galperin (University of Southern California) and Floor Fiers (Northwestern University). Register now!
How can communities address and understand challenges around digital access and participation inequalities? Online participation is differentiated and unequal along almost every dimension—in terms of who gets online and how as well as in terms of who contributes or participates in specific activities once they are there. Individual characteristics shape unequal outcomes, which can then be exacerbated by platform design and policies. In this session, we will explore this topic and its implications for online communities and platforms.
First, Professor Hernan Galperin (University of Southern California) will discuss how participation in online communities is affected by differences in broadband access opportunities and modalities across populations. Prof. Galperin will then present findings from a series of studies that investigate the drivers of inequality in gig economy platforms in the Global South. A key theme will be how to identify and combat digital discrimination in access and outcomes.
Next, Floor Fiers (Northwestern) will continue to discuss participation inequalities in the context of the gig economy. As online marketplaces, gig platforms mediate access to opportunities to exchange labor and money. Questions of who is and who is not able to access and navigate such platforms have important consequences. In addition, a variety of digital skills may be needed to overcome barriers to participation in these and other settings. Recent findings illustrate how having awareness of what is possible in a gig platform is a prerequisite to building the skills to reap potential benefits of participation. What might opportunities look like to bridge such knowledge, participation, and skills gaps?
This event is being paid for by a National Science Foundation grant, and will be held at no cost to attendees. A code of conduct will be shared with participants prior to the event. Discussions will be held under Chatham House Rule. Presentations will be recorded, though discussions will not. We are currently planning on hosting the event using jitsi (meet.jit.si).
What is a Dialogue?
The Science of Community Dialogue Series is a series of conversations between researchers, experts, community organizers, and other people who are interested in how communities work, collaborate, and succeed. You can watch this short introduction video with Aaron Shaw.
What is the CDSC?
The Community Data Science Collective (CDSC) is an interdisciplinary research group made of up of faculty and students at the University of Washington Department of Communication, the Northwestern University Department of Communication Studies, the Carleton College Computer Science Department, and the Purdue University School of Communication.
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