Digital Inclusion without Social Inclusion: The Consumption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Homeless Subculture in Central Scotland


  • Claire E. Buré



Digital Inclusion, Social Inclusion, Homelessness, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)


This pilot study examined how homeless people in central Scotland integrate and appropriate mobile phones and the internet into their everyday lives, and the various meanings these information and communication technologies (ICTs) come to hold. It was found that digital inclusion does not necessarily lead to social inclusion into mainstream society, since homeless individuals tend to use ICTs in ways which reinforce the patterns and practices of their subculture there is not a standard way of making use of technologies. Many homeless people thereby remain socially excluded in numerous ways despite their somewhat regular use of ICTs. It also emerged that mobile uptake can actually be more inclusive than internet uptake.