Korshunov G.P., Kroitor S.N. The Problem of Living Standards and Quality of Life in the Age of Digitalization

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2019.2.3

Gennady P. Korshunov
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Director of Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Surganova St., 1/2, 220072 Minsk, Republic of Belarus
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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4481-7587

Svetlana N. Kroitor
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Head of the Economic Sociology Department, Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Surganova St., 1/2, 220072 Minsk, Republic of Belarus
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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5883-4006


Abstract. The authors substantiate the relevance of the study of the processes of digitalization of modern society. They show that the main factor of transformation in all spheres is information technology, which is the driver of the next industrial revolution. The researchers prove that at the current stage of social development the level of ICT development is one of the key indicators of the competitiveness of national economies. The article presents a number of examples of developed and developing countries where programs and strategies for the development of digital economies are already being implemented. The authors review similar programs and projects implemented in Belarus, analyze the experience of the Belarusian state in the development of infrastructure conditions and the legal framework on the way to the creation of an IT-country. The thesis that the process of digitalization of the economy, society and the state, on the one hand, opens up Windows of opportunity and growth for economic and social actors; on the other hand, it leads to the emergence of new, as yet unexplored, risks and threats. The advantages of sociological science as a tool to explore these new opportunities and risks based on the assessment and expectations of the population are shown. The sociological concepts "standard of living" and "quality of life" are considered and compared, the authors offer their interpretations of these notions. They prove that modern rapidly digitizing communities have access to the latest technologies and the ability to use them become powerful factors affecting the living standards and quality of life of individuals. The scientists investigate a number of contradictions preventing improvement of quality of life in the conditions of increasing digitalization of social processes, namely: unevenness of development of ICT in different spheres of activity of society and higher rates of development of technologies in comparison with the speed of their development by the population. On the base of analysis of statistical information and sociological research data the authors point out the factors reducing the digital readiness of the population including insufficient computer and digital literacy of the population, psychological conservatism, fear of facing threats to information security, lack of confidence in the usefulness and practical applicability of new knowledge. The researchers also formulate prospects of further research within the given problematics.

Key words: digitalization, digital transformation, standard of living, quality of life, digital readiness, electronic practices, access to electronic services.

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The Problem of Living Standards and Quality of Life in the Age of Digitalization by Korshunov G.P., Kroitor S.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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