Digital Social Policy is an innovative concept that merges the digital world with the social policy world.
‘Digital’ denotes the electronic technologies – from mundane to in your face, from old to new – that appear in our everyday lives and interactions with people, places, government and organisations. It naturally embraces the everyday digital forms of the internet and smart phones, as well as organisational digital forms such as mainframes, computer modelling and database technologies. It also includes the arcane dimensions of circuitry and algorithms.
‘Social Policy’ denotes the forms of government practices that shape the wellbeing of people. It embraces the formal policy and laws, the administration and performance of those policies, the provision of publicly funded services and the organisational presence of these practices. It is especially interested in the values and ethics imbued in these practices.
Discovering digital is a focus on what digital things do whatever form they take. It eschews the uncritical fascination of the new and flashy.
Discovering social policy involves an engagement with what government does or does not do to people’s wellbeing, and how its actions systematically affect some people and groups differently to others.
• Technology is not neutral
• But neither good nor bad
• Social construction
• Governing and governance / public governance