It's not all about access: A comparative study of global citizenship and ICT use between Brazilian and American students utilizing a social inclusion framework

Date of Completion

January 2006


Education, Sociology of|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Technology of




The multiple dimensions of globalization bring with it both positive and negative consequences for the world, its countries and individuals. It is argued that the effects of globalization produce inequalities, excluding nations and people from the dominant system. The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is seen as one of the leading forces of globalization, connecting people through expansive networks that have flattened the world. Education is the driving force leading to the economic, political, cultural, and social development of a country. Citizenship encompasses the rights and responsibilities an individual has within his/her community and society. But in a globalized world the notion of an educated person and the concept of citizenship are being redefined, and both education and citizenship play an important role in equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to be active participants in society, in essence to be global citizens. It is up to us as individuals to address both the positive and negative challenges that globalization brings; efforts must be put forth to include the excluded. ^ This investigation goes further on the concept of the digital divide as defining those who have and those who don't have access to technology. It becomes important to investigate how those who have access to ICT are using these technologies and being excluded or included in their societies and in the world. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify how students from a developing and a developed country (Brazil and the U.S. respectively), who have access to ICT, are currently using them. Traits of global citizenship and socially valued ways of ICT use are delineated and examined with the goal of characterizing who is socially excluded and socially included in the globalized world. Results inform how globalization, education, citizenship and ICT use are reflected in the self perceptions of students from both countries. These traits suggest their readiness to act as global citizens, think critically, make informed decisions, and be active participants in the global society. ^