Investigating how the interaction between individual and circumstantial determinants influence the emergence of digital poverty: a post-pandemic survey among families with children in England

Maria Ruiu, Massimo Ragnedda, Felice Addeo, Gabriele Ruiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores Digital Poverty (DP) in England by adopting the DP Alliance’s theoretical framework that includes both Individual Determinants (individual capability and motivation) and Circumstantial Determinants (conditions of action). Such a framework is interpreted as an expression of Strong Structuration Theory (SST), by situating the connection between social structure and human agency in an intertwined relationship. We focus on new potential vulnerabilities that are connected to DP in England by drawing on a survey conducted on a randomised stratified sample (n = 1988) of parents aged between 20–55 with children at school. Exploring parents’ experience in the COVID-19 era, we identified economic factors and having children with disabilities as important predictors connected to Digital Poverty. Additional socio-demographic traits (such as age and education), parental status, lifestyles and digital behaviours also play a role in predicting some of the determinants linked to Digital Poverty. This paper adds to SST by empirically exploring how individuals use the Internet according to their metabolised embodiment of external determinants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2023

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