Digital Inequality

research on skills, uses, and outcomes of Internet technology

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21st-century Digital Skills
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Social Context of Digital Inequality
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In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Edition: 2, Publisher: Elsevier, Editors: James Wright, pp.787–792

 

During the 1990s, researchers and policy makers began discussing the presence of a so-called ‘digital divide,’ a distinction of people who do and do not have access to information and communication technologies. The concept of the digital divide stems from a comparative perspective of social and information inequality and depends on the idea that there are benefits associated with ICT access. Originally, the digital divide was defined in terms of physical access to a technology. This is now considered superficial and the emphasis is shifting to new dimensions, that is, inequalities of skills and usage.