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Causes and trends of the digital divide : a European perspective

Ursachen und Trends der digitalen Spaltung: eine europäische Perspektive
[conference paper]

Korupp, Sylvia E.

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-143197

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Corporate Editor Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
Abstract "Starting point of the author's research is the appearance of a new form of social inequality: the digital divide. He defines this abstract notion as the opening cleavage between the information poor and the information rich, forming an additional source of inequality within the already established social ordering. He deals with reasons for private computer and internet use. The general question is who uses internet for her or his private ends and how do we explain possible differences. Research on this topic sometimes is challenged by charges of studying a non-existent myth or 'luxury' problem. However, computer literacy seems to be significantly related to socioeconomic positions. Most of the studies deal with the numbers and counts of computers, hosts, internet connections, indicating a predominantly economistic view towards the problem. This approach, however, disregards all other social, cultural, or technological implications. His results indicate that human capital and social capital are more important than economic capital when looking at the pathways of innovation diffusion. All in all, money seems to be the least important measure to understand patterns of the unequal technology diffusion. He concludes that successful new technologies do not diffuse haphazardly but systematically into our society. The usual diffusion process is a vertical movement from the highest to the lowest status position along the socio-economic strata until most households directly or indirectly are included." (author's abstract)
Keywords digitalization; social inequality; inequality; information; information society; computer; Internet; human capital; social capital; innovation; diffusion; technology; socioeconomic factors; private household
Classification Macrosociology, Analysis of Whole Societies; Technology Assessment
Method descriptive study
Collection Title Soziale Ungleichheit, kulturelle Unterschiede: Verhandlungen des 32. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in München. Teilbd. 1 und 2
Editor Rehberg, Karl-Siegbert
Conference 32. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie "Soziale Ungleichheit - kulturelle Unterschiede". München, 2004
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Publisher Campus Verl.
City Frankfurt am Main
Page/Pages p. 3043-3051
ISBN 3-593-37887-6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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