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From the Digital Divide to Multiple Divides: Technology, Society, and New Media Skills

From the Digital Divide to Multiple Divides: Technology, Society, and New Media Skills
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Author(s): Francesca Comunello (Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 18
Source title: Handbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Enrico Ferro (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), Italy), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico) and Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch032

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Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that the label “digital divide” can be partially misleading, because it emphasizes a binary dichotomy (“haves vs. have nots”) and a mere technological dimension (in terms of physical availability of devices or conduits). Behind the dichotomous model, however, lie different use and adoption strategies. People cannot be described as being either in or out. Evaluating the complex relationships between technological, social, and human factors raises a number of questions, mainly related to the role of technology in social development. Moreover, we should also reconsider what is commonly meant by information and communication technology. In this chapter, I will try to introduce a multilevel model for analyzing the digital divide, focusing on effective access and new media literacy. The focus will be shifted from technology to humans. In every ICT for development project, local context and local needs should be regarded as the key factors.

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