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Dimensions of the Digital Divide

Dimensions of the Digital Divide
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Author(s): Marcus Leaning (University of Winchester, UK) and Udo Richard Averweg (eThekwini Municipality, South Africa)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 11
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fifth Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch115

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Abstract

The digital divide is a term used to describe a difference in the use of digital media between and within populations. As understanding of the divide has progressed, conceptualizing the various reasons people are not able to avail themselves of the potency of computers and the internet has become more sophisticated. In this article, the authors contend that the idea of the digital divide can be understood to operate in a range of different ‘dimensions'. Previous work on the topic has identified different historically situated ‘orders' of the digital divide and in some ways the dimensions under consideration here match these. However, such accounts tend to locate the forms of divide as occurring sequentially and that the latest form of divide presents the most prescient problems. In contrast the authors contend that the differing forms are still present and that the problem is a multi-faceted one which requires a multi-level approach to address. In this chapter the authors consider the three main dimensions that impact upon a person's ability to make use of digital media.

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