Information Technology, Social Justice, and Marginalized Contexts

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The latest developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have transformed our work, workplaces, institutions, societies, and communities. However, the favorable and unfavorable effects of ICTs are not distributed equally or uniformly across all contexts or populations in our society. Marginalized populations such as underrepresented, vulnerable, and underserved communities often bear the greatest burdens of technological change. Simultaneously, technology also provides powerful ways of safeguarding and improving humanity. This track focuses on socio-technical issues in marginalized contexts to not only uncover digital inequities and social injustices (e.g., the problem of bias in algorithmic systems, which gives rise to various forms of digital discrimination), but to find ways to build systems of empowerment through technology (e.g., designing and building technologies via value-sensitive designs).

This track calls for research that mitigates the risks of constructing a future where technological spaces, digital applications, and machine intelligence mirror a narrow and privileged vision of society with its biases and stereotypes. In this track, we create an outlet for all scholars across various disciplines to conduct research that deeply engages ICTs in marginalized contexts. We welcome papers from a range of perspectives, including conceptual, philosophical, behavioral, and design science and beyond.

Ten mini-tracks are accepted as a part of this special track in HICSS-57. We introduce them briefly below. We received 82 submissions in this track and accepted 39 papers for presentation at HICSS-57. The overall acceptance rate for this track is 47.56 %.

(1) AI and Digital Discrimination. This minitrack attracts and presents research on understanding and addressing the discrimination problems arising in the design, deployment, and use of artificial intelligent systems. Papers in this minitrack concern three key aspects: how discrimination arises in AI systems; how design in AI systems can mitigate such discrimination; and whether our existing laws are adequate to address discrimination in AI.

(2) Changing Nature of Work: Inclusive Labor Markets and Work Practices. Digital labor platforms and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of work, presenting both challenges and opportunities to build more inclusive labor markets. This minitrack is focused on issues relating to how the changing nature may become a mechanism for enabling more inclusive work practices on digital labor platforms.

(3) Decolonizing Technology and Society. This minitrack attracts and presents decolonization research that showcases decolonial perspectives, using local epistemologies such as indigenous theories and methods and highlights how decolonial approaches to ICT and society can help overcome oppression and contribute to a more pluriversal society.

(4) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Technology and Organization. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have taken the forefront as a core value in organizations. This minitrack draws on the premise of an organization as a socio-technical system and presents papers focusing on IT workforce, technology tools, and the digital driving forces that promote DEI in organizations.

(5) From Digital Divide to Digital Equity and Inclusion: ICT Access, Adoption and Use among Vulnerable Populations. Digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to and use of digital technologies and those who do not. This minitrack attracts and presents original research papers, case studies, and review articles that investigate the digital divide and its impact on vulnerable populations, as well as initiatives that address these vulnerabilities, moving towards digital equity and inclusion.

(6) Gender and Technology. The interplay of Gender and Technology is fundamental in understanding the role gender plays in marginalizing or empowering individuals in the technology space. This minitrack invites and presents gender-focused analysis of societal, organizational, and individual factors that not only advance our understanding of how gender shapes the technology milieu but also reveal interventions that can help attenuate gender inequities and imbalance.

(7) ICT and Social and Criminal Justice. This minitrack attracts and presents original work concerning the intersection of information systems research with social and criminal justice. Social justice is the belief that everyone deserves fair and equal treatment and criminal justice refers to the laws, procedures, institutions, and policies at play before, during, and after the commission of a crime. Papers in this minitrack examine actions that promote equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal treatment as well as the use of ICT that uncovers social injustice.

(8) Illicit Activity and Criminal Justice. ICTs have changed the practices used by illicit actors and those seeking to interdict illegal or exploitative activity. Papers in this minitrack explore the intersection of ICT and illicit activity that has a physical world component and/or the use of ICT by illicit actors that targets or exploits marginalized groups.

(9) STEM Education and Workforce Development: Addressing Equity and Inclusion for Underserved Populations. This minitrack attracts and presents research on addressing barriers to equity and social justice in STEM education and careers, with a particular emphasis on underserved populations. Areas of research include cultivating interest and fostering access, implementing inclusive pedagogical and curricular innovations and practices in STEM education, addressing systemic barriers, advancing opportunities, and amplifying diverse voices in STEM fields, engaging industry partners, and exploring data and assessment to track progress in STEM education.

(10) The Bright and Dark Side of Social Media in the Marginalized Contexts. Social media platforms both empower and marginalize individuals in our society. This minitrack attracts and presents papers on all types of social media platforms investigating the positive and negative aspects of social media in marginalized contexts. The scholarly discussion of social media use will center on identifying innovative approaches to maintain a safe and productive online environment that creates social well-being for the greater good.

The papers presented in this track will have the opportunity to be extended into full-length, high-quality articles. These articles will be considered for publication in journals such as The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, Foundations Trends in Information Systems, Communications of Association for Information Systems, and Journal of Information Systems Education.

K. D. Joshi
University of Nevada Reno

Xuefei (Nancy) Deng
California State University, Dominguez Hills