Digital Divide Working Group - CFP 2018

The IAMCR’s Digital Divide Working Group invites submissions for its open sessions at the IAMCR 2018 Conference to be held from 20-24 June, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon, USA. The deadline to submit abstracts is 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2018. Proposals for consideration by IAMCR’s Digital Divide Working Group must be submitted via the Open Conference System at

The overarching conference theme in 2018 is Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World. The theme is centered around the notion of sustainability, which is defined by the United Nations as harmonizing three core elements, environmental protection, social inclusion, and economic growth, so as to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The theme seeks to explore how sustainability is affected by the environment, as well as by human activities (social, economic and political ones) and current lifestyles. It also attempts to stimulate a discussion about the ways media can contribute to sustainable development in the societies, both by drawing public attention to the problem of sustainability and by promoting the values of social inclusion, openness and transparency in the modern world.

Within this context, Digital Divide Working Group is particularly interested in exploring the role digital technologies and digital literacy play in securing social inclusion and diversity in the society. It would be interesting to know how societies with different economic, social, political and cultural backgrounds tackle the problem of sustainability in a modern globalized world, and how countries with different levels of digital inequality differ in terms of their approaches to sustainable development of the environment. We encourage researchers to think about the role digital technologies play in the modern world and discuss how they can foster or hinder sustainable development of natural systems around the globe.

Our Working Group welcomes new theoretical approaches and empirical findings resulted from the research of digital inequality as a multi-dimensional phenomenon influencing various aspects of social and political life all across the world. In this respect we are also interested in stimulating fruitful discussions about co-relation of such factors as age, gender, income, education, location and technical skills to use ICTs, as well as the co-relation of media literacy and social inclusion in the modern social and political life.

For the 2018 annual conference we invite paper proposals on any of the following key topics:

  • The impact of digital technologies upon sustainable development of natural systems;
  • Social inclusion and diversity as manifestations of sustainability;
  • Digital divide and sustainability in countries with different economic, social, political and cultural profiles;
  • Digital media and sustainability in the age of consumerism;
  • Digital skills in the modern era: how they are created, preserved, passed on, and archived;
  • Digital inclusion as a factor contributing to sustainable development of nations and individuals;
  • The role of digital divide in communication across cultures, ethnicities and regions;
  • Digital divide and exclusion from information environment: challenges and possible solutions.

Abstract submissions

Abstracts should be submitted from 9 November 2017 through 31 January 2018. Both individual and panel submissions are welcome and early submission is strongly encouraged.


Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by the Section or Working Group Head no later than 15 March 2018.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR's OCS at There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person for consideration by the conference. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to other Sections or Working Groups of the Association for consideration, after an initial submission. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Submitted abstracts will generally be evaluated on the basis of:

1. theoretical contribution
2. methods
3. quality of writing
4. literature review
5. relevance of the submission to the work of the Working Group
6. originality and/or significance of the work

Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

  • 9 November 2017 – Abstract submission system (OCS) opens

  • 31 January 2018 – Deadline for submissions

  • 8 March 2018 – Registration opens

  • 15 March 2018 – Notification of decisions of abstracts

  • 20 March 2018 – Deadline to apply for travel grants and awards

  • 3 April 2018 – Deadline to confirm your participation

  • 7 May 2018 – Last day to register at discounted early-bird fee

  • 28 May 2018 – Deadline for full paper submission

  • 1 June 2018 – Final conference programme published on the website

  • 20–24 June 2018 – IAMCR 2018 Conference

Digital Divide Working Group

Visit the Digital Divide Working Group's webpage >>>


Olga Smirnova


Anna Gladkova

Acting Vice-Chair:

Massimo Ragnedda

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