The Digital Divide: The Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Digital Divide

The Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective, 1st Edition

Edited by Massimo Ragnedda, Glenn W. Muschert


324 pages

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Paperback: 9781138960268
pub: 2015-09-04
Hardback: 9780415525442
pub: 2013-06-05
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pub: 2013-06-19
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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). 

Providingan 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.


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

Table of Contents

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 MarrChapter 4. The Internet and Social Inequalities in the U.S. James Witte, Marissa Kiss, and Randy LynnChapter 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 SorjChapter 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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery