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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

ICT Exacerbates the Human Side of the Digital Divide

ICT Exacerbates the Human Side of the Digital Divide
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Author(s): Elspeth McKay (RMIT University, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch282


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Ethnic and racial tensions are aggravated by social inequities; perhaps it is the media that unwittingly feeds this dilemma. Look at how often we are directed to the Internet for further information. While exploring the Internet may be easy for some computer users, others demonstrate a complete avoidance for this type of knowledge exchange. Moreover, some misunderstandings that occur between cultural communities may be exacerbated by a phenomenon that has become known as the digital divide. There are various definitions of this term. One view takes a purely socio-political focus relating to a socio-economic gap between communities that have access to computer technologies and the Internet and those who do not. Another view covers a broader technological spectrum to include media of any sort, and the information and communications technologies (ICTs). No matter which definition is used, the lack of access to information, for whatever reason, may perpetuate a meaningful gap in cultural differences; the result of which may lead to a more serious communication breakdown throughout the community. This short article argues for more research on measuring the effectiveness of increased opportunities for Web-mediated cross-cultural/intergenerational knowledge sharing that is designed to overcome the ever widening digital divide.

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