The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society

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SAGE Publications, Feb 15, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 248 pages

During the mid 90′s, around the time the Internet became popular, it became apparent that there was still one critical issue holding back limitless opportunities. Computer professionals had to find a way to close the gap between those who do not have computer or Internet access and those who do, also known as the digital divide. Suddenly, hundreds of conferences of computer professionals, social scientists, and government policy experts worldwide dedicated themselves to this concern. Then the Internet hype seemed to dissipate, and observers assumed the digital divide would fix itself.

The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society explains why the digital divide is still widening and, in advanced high-tech societies, deepening. Taken from an international perspective, the book offers full coverage of the literature and research and a theoretical framework from which to analyze and approach the issue. Where most books on the digital divide only describe and analyze the issue, Jan van Dijk presents 26 policy perspectives and instruments designed to close the divide itself.

Written in a simple, thorough, and multidisciplinary approach, The Deepening Divide offers insights to students, researchers, policymakers, and professionals in media and communication studies, sociology, educational policy, public policy, and computer education.

Jan A.G.M. van Dijk is an internationally recognized expert in the field of communication, with new media studies as his primary interest. The author of The Network Society: Social Aspects of the New Media (SAGE, 1999) and co-editor of Digital Democracy: Issues of Theory and Practice (SAGE, 2000), van Dijk is a professor of Communication Science at Twente University, the Netherlands, and serves as an advisor of the European Commission of the Information Society Forum.



1 Introduction
2 A Framework for Understanding the Digital Divide
3 Motivational Access
4 Material Access
5 Skills Access
6 Usage Access
7 Inequality in the Information Society
8 Inequality in the Network Society
9 The Stakes
10 Policy Perspectives
About the Author

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About the author (2005)

Jan A.G.M. van Dijk (1952) is emeritus professor of communication science and sociology of the information society and still working at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. His main domains of research are the social aspects of the digital media, digital democracy and the digital divide. His best known English books are The Network Society (Four Editions, Sage Publications), Digital Democracy (2000, Sage Publications), The Deepening Divide (2005, Sage Publications), Digital Skills (2014, Palgrave Macmillan), Internet and Democracy (2018, Routledge) and The Digital Divide (2020, Polity Press). Since the year 2020 he is working on an overall work called Power & Technology, combining theories of social and natural power explaining the use of technology in human history. During his long career he was an advisory of many governments and departments as well as the European Commission.

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