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Generation, Education, Gender, and Ethnicity in American Digital Divides

Generation, Education, Gender, and Ethnicity in American Digital Divides
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Author(s): Susan Carol Losh (Florida State University, USA)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 27
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.ch011

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Abstract

Through increasing access to knowledge and facilitating widespread discourse, information and communication technology (ICT) is believed to hold the potential to level many societal barriers. Using national probability samples of United States adults from 1983 to 2006, I examine how gender, ethnicity, and education interacted with generation to influence computer ownership and Internet use. Narrower digital divides in more recent generations can mean greater future digital equality through cohort replacement. However, although gender is now of far less consequence than previously in ICT access and use, significant divides, especially in PC ownership and selected Internet uses have widened by ethnicity and education over five birth cohorts. On the other hand, results from earlier research interpreted as “aging effects” are most likely generational influences instead. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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