For the most part, digitization is perceived as an event that comes upon society and changes it. In this perception, digitization appears similar to a natural force of nature. This perspective runs the danger that one loses sight of the fact that digitization is a social phenomenon. As a social phenomenon, digitization is brought about by people and must be controlled and shaped by them. This co-constructive dimension, which makes people actors and not passive recipients of digitization, bears potential for social innovation. One guiding thesis of the research project consists in the assumption that there is a lack of fundamental knowledge about digitization’s social deep structures.  Against the background of the analysis of the perception of digitization and the elaboration of the potentials and socially coded structure of the digital, strategies can be developed that enable to shape digitization as an inclusive process.

Bases on these considerations, guiding research questions of the project are:

  • How do central actors perceive digitization?
  • Which potentials of the digital are already being used, and how can possibilities be optimized for inclusive, diversity-sensitive digitization.

Two subordinate research questions arise from the last question:

  • What are the social implications as well as the inclusive potentials of the digital?
  • Which potentials of digital are not actualized and why.

To investigate how digitalization is perceived, central actors or central ‘voices of the digital’ will be interviewed. In line with the breadth of the social impact of digitization and to achieve maximum contrast, the focus will be on experts in digitization in education and on central actors such as social influencers.