Divari digitali e disuguaglianze in Italia prima e durante il Covid-19

Digital Divides and Inequalities in Italy Before and During the Covid-19



Digital divide, Inequalities, Digital Democracy


The digital divides refer to access to infrastructure and technological devices, to skills required to take advantage of such access, and the structural dynamics of social inequalities, in the framework of the platform society. The Covid-19 emergency has certainly enhanced some lines of fracture between who is included and who is excluded from the network society. At the same time, the emergency has contributed to stress the need to acknowledge which are the implications of digital divides for inclusion and the full exercise of democratic citizenship. This article relies on the analysis of public policies and of the mediatized debate, taking the Covid-19 crisis as a temporal juncture. Through a review of the main measures adopted during the emergency in Italy and the comparison between lexical occurrences in media articles before and during the Covid-19, the study describes the process of politicization of the digital divides. The crisis has contributed to shift the focus from an economic and neoliberal frame, that has dominated the narrative on digital democracy so far, towards a frame of social inclusion that bring back into the agenda the rights of children, of elders, of women and of residents in rural areas.