Accessing a New Land: Designing for a Social Conceptualisation of Access

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This paper presents a study of mobile phone use by people settling in a new land to access state provided digital services. It shows that digital literacy and access to technology are not the only resources and capabilities needed to successfully access digital services and do not guarantee a straightforward resettlement process. Using creative engagement methods, the research involved 132 "newcomers" seeking to settle in Sweden. Ribot and Peluso's (2003) theory of access was employed to examine the complex web of access experienced by our participants. We uncover that when communities are dealing with high levels of precarity, their primary concerns are related to accessing the benefits of a service, rather than controlling access. Broadening the HCI framework, the paper concludes that a sociotechnical model of access needs to connect access control and access benefit to facilitate the design of an effective digital service.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '19
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5970-2
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019

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