Citizens to reconnect? Digital inclusion and the state’s re-engagement in rural worlds

By Chloé Devez

As the French state proceeds with dematerialization, the digital inclusion of disadvantaged populations is becoming a major issue in public policy. This contribution focuses on the “France Services digital adviser” scheme and the relational work it implies. Launched by the government in 2021, it aimed to finance the recruitment of digital mediators within rural authorities and associations. Based on a participant observation in a small rural association, the article shows that the implementation of the scheme relies on the local social resources of digital promoters and their ability to mobilize them to create and insert themselves into complex institutional networks. Their work with the public relies on highly personalized relationships, which can lead to misunderstandings with those in the most precarious situations.

  • Digital inclusion
  • Public action
  • Rural worlds
  • Association
  • Relationnal work
  • France
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