Digital Inequality

research on skills, uses and outcomes of Internet technology - by Alexander van Deursen

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Citation:
Van Deursen, A.J.A.M. & Helsper, E.J. (2015). A nuanced understanding of Internet use and non-use amongst older adults. European Journal of Communication, 30(2), 171-187.

Abstract:
This article examines explanations for both Internet non-use and use by older individuals. Older adults are often considered as a homogeneous group with uniform reasons for Internet non-use, or when they are online, practicing a uniform range of activities. The study gathered data concerning senior non-users through a national telephone survey. Data concerning senior Internet users was obtained through a national representative online survey. The findings suggest that although a substantial part of the senior Internet non-users live in surroundings that enable Internet uptake, they seem to be uneager or unable to do so. Important differences among senior non-users are based on gender, age, education, household composition, and attitude towards the Internet. Differences amongst users where based on life stage, social environment and psychological characteristics. The paper thus reveals that older citizens are a very diverse group in which some are more likely to be digitally excluded than others.