The Digital Divide V.S Demographics

Posted: May 1, 2013 in The Digital Divide

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The present gap of the divide in businesses goes further than companies just having technological access. It is one of the main reasons in this day-and-age of slow productivity. This issue is one of the most important social equity issues facing the information society. Complexity and knowledge barriers towards the Internet adoption, comfort and satisfaction issues faced by new users may be constructed as self-efficient deficits.

The digital divide conceptualizes or is rather faced with attributes such as demographic and socio-economic variables, like income, education, age, geographic location, skills, awareness, political and cultural and psychological attitudes, etc.

The research done across countries has shown that income levels and the access to education are identified as providing the most powerful explanatory variables for access and usage to technology. It is still present that Whites are much more likely than Africans to own computers as well as have access to the Internet in their homes, but this is slowly evolving. In terms of geographic location, people who live in urban areas have more access and show more usage of computer services than those in rural areas. Gender was and is still one of the variables that is basically a common explanation for the cause of the digital divide to this day. Many people think ICT is basically male gendered, but statistics have shown that income, education and employment act as common variables and that women with the same level of income, education and employment actually embrace ICT more than men. Now how about that?

Author: Julitha Mekgoe

Edited by: Thokozani K.Phakathi

References:

Martin Hilbert “When is Cheap, Cheap Enough to Bridge the Digital Divide? Modeling Income Related Structural Challenges of Technology Diffusion in Latin America”. World Development, Volume 38, issue 5, p. 756-770; free access to the study here: martinhilbert.net/CheapEnoughWD_Hilbert_pre-print.pdf

Date accessed: 11 March 2013

Zickuher, Kathryn. 2011. Generations and their gadgets. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Generations-and-gadgets/Report/Desktop-and-Laptop-Computers.aspx.

Date accessed: 24 April 2013

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