1st Edition

The Digital Divide The Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective

Edited By Massimo Ragnedda, Glenn W. Muschert Copyright 2013
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides an in-depth comparative analysis of inequality and the stratification of the digital sphere.

    Grounded in classical sociological theories of inequality, as well as empirical evidence, this book defines ‘the digital divide’ as the unequal access and utility of internet communications technologies and explores how it has the potential to replicate existing social inequalities, as well as create new forms of stratification. The Digital Divide examines how various demographic and socio-economic factors including income, education, age and gender, as well as infrastructure, products and services affect how the internet is used and accessed. Comprised of six parts, the first section examines theories of the digital divide, and then looks in turn at:

    • Highly developed nations and regions (including the USA, the EU and Japan);
    • Emerging large powers (Brazil, China, India, Russia);
    • Eastern European countries (Estonia, Romania, Serbia);
    • Arab and Middle Eastern nations (Egypt, Iran, Israel);
    • Under-studied areas (East and Central Asia, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa). 

    Providing an interwoven analysis of the international inequalities in internet usage and access, this important work offers a comprehensive approach to studying the digital divide around the globe. It is an important resource for academic and students in sociology, social policy, communication studies, media studies and all those interested in the questions and issues around social inequality.

    Preface  Introduction  Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn W. Muschert  Section 1: Theories of the Digital Divide  Chapter 1. The Reproduction and Reconfiguration of Inequality: Differentiation and Class, Status, and Power in the Dynamics of Digital Divides  Bridgette Wessels  Chapter 2. A Theory of the Digital Divide  Jan A.G.M. van Dijk  Section 2: Highly Developed Nations and Regions  Chapter 3. The Digital Divide in Europe  Nicole Zillien and Mirko Marr  Chapter 4. The Internet and Social Inequalities in the U.S.  James Witte, Marissa Kiss, and Randy Lynn  Chapter 5. Missing In the Midst of Abundance: The Case of Broadband Adoption in Japan  Mito Akiyoshi, Motohiro Tsuchiya, and Takako Sano  Section 3: Rapidly Developing Large Nations – the BRIC Nations  Chapter 6. The Digital Divide in Brazil: Conceptual, Research and Policy Challenges  Bernardo Sorj  Chapter 7. Digitizing Russia: Uneven Pace of Progress toward Internet Access Equality  Inna F. Deviatko  Chapter 8. Digital Divide in India: Inferences from the Information and Communication Technology Workforce  P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan  Chapter 9. China Digital Divide in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: The Barriers of First Order and Second Order Digital Divide  Shu-Fen Tseng and Yu-Ching You  Section 4: Eastern Europe  Chapter 10. The Internet and Digital Divide in SEE: Connectivity Does Not End the Digital Divide, Skills Do  Danica Radovanovic  Chapter 11. Closing the Gap, Are We There Yet? Reflections on the Persistence of Second-Level Digital Divide Among Adolescents in Central and Eastern Europe  Monica Barbovschi and Bianca Fizeşan  Chapter 12. Behind the Slogan of "e-State:" Digital Stratification in Estonia  Veronika Kalmus, Kairi Talves and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt  Section 5: The Middle East Region  Chapter 13. Digitally Divided We Stand: The Contribution of Digital Media to the Arab Spring  David M. Faris  Chapter 14. Explaining Digital Inequalities in Israel: Juxtaposing the Conflict and Cultural Perspectives  Gustavo Mesch, Ilan Talmud and Tanya Kolovov  Chapter 15. An Analysis of the Second-Level Digital Divide in Iran: A Case Study of University of Tehran's Undergraduate Students  Hamid Abdollahyan, Mehdi Semati and Mohammad Ahmadi  Section 6: Under-Studied Countries and Regions  Chapter 16. The Digital Divide in the Latin American Context  Daniela Trucco Horwitz  Chapter 17. The Central Asian Digital Divide  Barney Warf  Chapter 18. The Double Digital Divide and Social Inequality in Asia: Comparative Research on Internet Cafes in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines  Tomohisa Hirata  Chapter 19. Dimensions of the Mobile Divide in Niger  Gado Alzouma  Afterword  Internet Freedom, Nuanced Digital Divides, and the Internet Craftsman  Sascha D. Meinrath, James Losey and Benjamin Lennett


    Massimo Ragnedda teaches Mass Communications at Northumbria University, UK. Previously he was an affiliated visitor at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK and in 2011 he was Academic Visiting at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK.

    Glenn W. Muschert is Associate Professor in the Sociology, Criminology, and Social Justice Studies Programs at Miami University, USA.

    "Extremely valuable..." - J.L. Croissant, University of Arizona, Choice