División digital, polarización y teletrabajo

Author: Karsten Krüger

Year: 2022

Only available in Spanish

The starting point of this essay is that the social and digital divide is also reproduced in the field of telework, as indicated by the different approaches to measuring the teleworkability of occupations. These approaches focus only on the jobs themselves, neglecting working conditions at home. The full extent of the telework social and digital divide can only be detected by taking into account this aspect, i.e. the physical and socio-economic environment of the telework location..

This working paper is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on digitalisation and social equality. It argues that the digital divide is another expression of existing social inequalities in advanced capitalist knowledge service countries, acting as an amplifier of these inequalities. The second section analyses the polarisation of society in the areas of education, income and skill structure using Eurostat data. Here it is interpreted that these changes are not driven by digitalisation. The higher educational level of the population is one of the major drivers of occupational structure change, laying the foundation for digitalisation and organisational change, amplifying and reinforcing societal changes. The third section focuses on the social and digital divide in telework. Social inequality is observed in occupations open to telework, which is reinforced by the different socio-economic and physical conditions of the households of potential teleworkers, especially affecting women.

This reflection is based on a literature review and a simple analysis of statistical data on educational and occupational structure or earnings available at Eurostat at one-digit ISCED and ISCO, mainly for the whole EU 27.