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

Moving Beyond the Digital Divide: Developing a Psychological Perspective of Digital Inequality

Moving Beyond the Digital Divide: Developing a Psychological Perspective of Digital Inequality
View Free PDF
Author(s): Helen Partridge (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 4
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch128
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


Modern society is rapidly being divided into those who have access and are comfortable using information technology – the ‘haves’ – and those who do not have access and are not comfortable using information technology – the ‘have-nots’. Commonly referred to as the digital divide, this phenomenon is having far reaching social and economic implications. Many organisations and individuals have invested time, money and energy into establishing programmes and resources that can help bridge the growing digital divide. The efforts of these individuals and organisations have been focused by the current research into the digital divide, which takes primarily a socio-economic perspective. According to current research the primary factors influencing the development and growth of the digital divide are income, employment and education. Very few studies have considered the social, psychological or cultural barriers that may contribute to the digital divide. This paper will outline a research project aimed at exploring the psychology of the digital divide. The research will use the Social Cognitive Theory by Bandura1 to examine the psychology of the information and technology gap in community. This theory postulates that a person will act according to their perceived capabilities and the anticipated consequences of their actions. Participants in the study will be novice Internet users drawn from Brisbane Australia and San Jose USA. Self-administered surveys will be used for data collection. The surveys will gather data on demographics and Internet usage. The Internet Self Efficacy Scale developed by Eastin and LaRose2 will be included. A Pilot Study was conducted from March to July 2002. Participants were obtained from the San Jose Public Library Service and the Brisbane City Council Public Library Service. The key findings of the study are discussed. The current research will assist organisations and individuals in community who are interested in developing strategies for bridging the emerging information and technology gap and will lend support to the existence of a Social Digital Divide as proposed by Harper3.

Body Bottom