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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

An Interdisciplinary Study of Digital Inclusion


An interdisciplinary study of digital inclusion: Using social media analytics to challenge online epistemic domination and amplify marginal voices

This study aims to offer new perspectives on the nexus of epistemic domination in online spaces and social exclusion. It focuses on how families affected by crime and punishment participate in social media sites and explores whether the marginalisation of this group as noted in criminological scholarship, is being reproduced in online spaces.

To achieve its objectives, the study is using an innovative digital method and qualitative social research methods to compare the discourses and networks of the key stakeholders on two social media platforms; Twitter and Facebook. The aim is to identify the group exerting epistemic domination by presiding over the discourse constructed about affected families. Another key aim is to provide fresh insights by exploring how to develop methods for identifying the contribution of “low capital” regions of a social network (in this case populated by prisoners’ families) and establishing metrics for “network inclusivity”. These methods can help enhance the social media participation and digital inclusion of socially marginal groups by amplifying their voices.



Principal Investigator: Dr Pamela Ugwudike

Co Investigators: Professor Les Carr, Professor Jenny Fleming


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