The Digital Divide and Social Equity

The Digital Divide and Social Equity

Alfred P. Rovai (Regent University, USA) and Emery M. Petchauer (Lincoln University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-857-4.ch028
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The Pew Internet and American Life Project (Pew/Internet; Lenhart, Horrigan, Rainie et al., 2003) reports 42 percent of Americans say they do not use the Internet, with 24 percent being truly off-line with no direct or indirect experience with the Internet. However, these percentages represent averages and don’t pertain uniformly across all subpopulations. Pew/Internet (Fox, 2005) reports Americans age 65 and older, African-Americans, and those with less education lag behind others in Internet usage. The present article examines the impact of these differences on social equity in terms of receiving fair, just, and equitable treatment by the political system regarding public policies and services.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Divide: The division between those individuals who have reasonable access to the Internet and those who do not. Digital divide can also refer to differences in computer ownership and skills in using information technology.

Digital inclusion: The process of expanding access to computing technology to better serve individuals and communities on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Infopoverty: The lack of access to basic information that hinders individuals and communities from improving their circumstances (Stewart, 2000).

Social Equity: The principle that each member of society has a right to be given fair, just, and equitable treatment by the political system in terms of public policies and services.

Social Capital: The degree to which individuals in a society collaborate and cooperate, through such mechanisms as networks, to achieve mutual benefits (Putnam, 2000).

Digital Competency: The ability to apply computer skills and knowledge, especially as these skills pertaining to Internet usage.

Cyberpower: The effects of online access on an individual’s ability to do something or get something done.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Bruce Rocheleau
G. David Garson
Chapter 1
Rhoda C. Joseph, David P. Kitlan
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are key elements supporting the growth of e-government initiatives. Public administration refers... Sample PDF
Key Issues in E-Government and Public Administration
Chapter 2
Pearson Liddell Jr., Robert S. Moore, Melissa Moore, William D. Eshee, Gloria J. Liddell
Public managers who are the gatekeepers regarding the informational content of communication systems have to be especially cognizant of which... Sample PDF
Government Web Sites as Public Forums
Chapter 3
Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazán, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to improve the quality of the overall citizen experience when interacting with... Sample PDF
Limitations of Evolutionary Approaches to E-Government
Chapter 4
Stephen K. Aikins
The use of Internet technology to further citizen participation is believed to hold great promise to enhance democratic governance by allowing... Sample PDF
Issues and Trends in Internet-Based Citizen Participation
Chapter 5
Andrea B. Baker, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Donna Canestraro, Jim Costello, Derek Werthmuller
As new Internet-based products, services, and resources are developed, private companies and government agencies are exploring the use of these open... Sample PDF
Public Sector Participation in Open Communities
Chapter 6
Community Informatics  (pages 50-60)
Larry Stillman, Randy Stoecker
Researchers and practitioners use a wide range of terms when they discuss community involvement with information and communications technologies... Sample PDF
Community Informatics
Chapter 7
Dale Nesbary
There exists a growing controversy over whether the government should be in the business of providing wireless broadband Internet. Public sector... Sample PDF
Public Wireless Internet
Chapter 8
Chee Wei Phang, Atreyi Kankanhalli
The past decade has witnessed an increasing trend of information and communication technologies (ICT) exploitation by governments around the world... Sample PDF
The Current State and Future of E-Participation Research
Chapter 9
Blogging  (pages 81-93)
David C. Wyld
What is a blog? According to a recent report from The Pew Internet & American Life Project, well over half of the American adult population do not... Sample PDF
Chapter 10
E-Government and SMEs  (pages 94-104)
Ron Craig
This chapter looks at a particular focus of e-government, that of support for business in general and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in... Sample PDF
E-Government and SMEs
Chapter 11
Anne Wiggins
This paper provides an overview of the current UK situation of e-business adoption and implementation, and outlines the primary UK government... Sample PDF
EU E-Business and Innovation Policies for SMEs
Chapter 12
Ioannis P. Chochliouros, Anastasia S. Spiliopoulou, Stergios P. Chochliouros
The gradual “penetration” of an innovative, digitally-oriented information society, in the scope of the actual convergence among telecommunications... Sample PDF
Exploitation of Public Sector Information in Europe
Chapter 13
Donald F. Norris
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the adoption, uses, and impacts of information technology (IT), including electronic... Sample PDF
Information Technology Among U.S. Local Governments
Chapter 14
Christopher G. Reddick
Human resources information systems (HRIS) is any technology that is used to attract, hire, retain, and maintain talent, support workforce... Sample PDF
Public Sector Human Resources Information Systems
Chapter 15
Digital Libraries  (pages 152-161)
Micah Altman
Digital libraries are collections of digital content and services selected by a curator for use by a particular user community. Digital libraries... Sample PDF
Digital Libraries
Chapter 16
Dimitrios K. Kardaras, Eleutherios A. Papathanassiou
The impact of “e-business” on the public sector is the main source of the government’s transformation towards “e-government,” which refers to the... Sample PDF
An Exploratory Study of the E-Government Services in Greece
Chapter 17
Giorgos Laskaridis, Konstantinos Markellos, Penelope Markellou, Angeliki Panayiotaki
In recent years, we have witnessed the rapid evolution of the World Wide Web. This development allows millions of people all over the world to... Sample PDF
E-Government's Barriers and Opportunities in Greece
Chapter 18
Alex Dunayev, John Paynter
Worldwide governments are investing in initiatives to open access to information, resources, communication and services via channels typically used... Sample PDF
E-Lections in New Zealand Local Governments
Chapter 19
John Paynter, Gabrielle Peko
A census is an official count. It can be contrasted with sampling in which information is only obtained from a subset of a population. As such, it... Sample PDF
E-Census 2006 in New Zealand
Chapter 20
Mirko Cesarini, Mariagrazia Fugini, Mario Mezzanzanica, Krysnaia Nanini
Public administrations, during the last few years, activated modernizations in public service delivery. In particular, this arrangement relates to... Sample PDF
Security Challenges in Distributed Web Based Transactions: An Overview on the Italian Employment Information System
Chapter 21
Sheng-Uei Guan, Yuan Sherng Tay
M-commerce possesses two distinctive characteristics that distinguish it from traditional e-commerce: the mobile setting and the small form factor... Sample PDF
Interactive Personalized Catalogue for M-Commerce
Chapter 22
Vesile Evrim, Dennis McLeod
Over the years, trust has been extensively studied in many fields such as sociology, psychology, and economics. The sociologist Gambetta (2000)... Sample PDF
Trust Based E-Commerce Decisions
Chapter 23
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Digital government is a complex socio-technical phenomenon, which is affected by technical, managerial, institutional, and environmental factors... Sample PDF
Using Partial Least Squares in Digital Government Research
Chapter 24
Eleutherios A. Papathanassiou, Xenia J. Mamakou
The advent of the Internet has altered the way that individuals find information and has changed how they engage with many organizations, like... Sample PDF
Privacy Issues in Public Web Sites
Chapter 25
Lourdes Moreno, Elena Castro, Dolores Cuadra, Paloma Martinez
Internet growth makes use feasible by an increased number of people around the world. For this reason, several approaches must be taken in order to... Sample PDF
A Framework for Accessible and Usable Web Applications
Chapter 26
Giovanni Maria Sacco
The quantity and diversity of information available from public government sources is now quite large. Most people associate governmental... Sample PDF
Intelligent User-Centric Access to Public Information
Chapter 27
Jean-Philippe Rennard
“If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” The famous statement of Sir Isaac Newton demonstrates that the progress of... Sample PDF
Open Access to Scholarly Publications and Public Policies
Chapter 28
Alfred P. Rovai, Emery M. Petchauer
The Pew Internet and American Life Project (Pew/Internet; Lenhart, Horrigan, Rainie et al., 2003) reports 42 percent of Americans say they do not... Sample PDF
The Digital Divide and Social Equity
Chapter 29
Esharenana E. Adomi
Much of the developed world has, over the past two decades, been transformed by what are now termed information and communication technologies... Sample PDF
Africa and the Challenges of Bridging the Digital Divide
Chapter 30
Carlos Nunes Silva
Public administration includes many professions and occupations, each with its own set of ethical guidelines. In addition, they have to follow the... Sample PDF
Research Ethics in E-Public Administration
Chapter 31
Jimmie L. Joseph, David P. Cook
New technologies can lead to social upheaval and ethical dilemmas which are unrecognized at the time of their introduction. Medical care technology... Sample PDF
Medical Ethical and Policy Issues Arising from RIA
Chapter 32
Lia Bryant, Iolanda Principe
Public information technology, as a term, implicitly suggests universal access by citizens to information through the use of technology. The... Sample PDF
Social Capital and the Gendering of Differential IT Use
Chapter 33
Eugene J. Akers
The ability to understand the salient aspects of innovations, as perceived by the members of a social system, is essential to the success of planned... Sample PDF
Technology Diffusion in Public Administration
Chapter 34
Shahidul Hassan, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Recent developments in institutional theory are highly promising for the study of e-government. Scholars in various disciplines, such as economics... Sample PDF
Institutional Theory and E-Government Research
Chapter 35
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Shahidul Hassan
The relationship between information technologies (IT) and organizational (structural) change has been a topic of interest for public administration... Sample PDF
Structure Theory and Government IT
Chapter 36
Jimmie L Joseph
Intelligence and security informatics (ISI) is the application of information systems (IS), databases, and data coding schemes to issues of... Sample PDF
Intelligence and Security Informatics
Chapter 37
Stephen K. Aikins
The modern network and Internet security vulnerabilities expose state and local government networks to numerous threats such as denial of service... Sample PDF
Practical Measures for Securing Government Networks
Chapter 38
Anthony W. Buenger
Digital convergence constitutes the full realization of the Information Age and provides the foundation to link cultural, personal, business... Sample PDF
Digital Convergence and Cybersecurity Policy
Chapter 39
David A. Bray
Most analyses of possible future bioterrorism events predict they may be similar to the anthrax events of 2001. Specifically, a limited population... Sample PDF
Bioterrorism Response and IT Strategies
Chapter 40
Ludwig Slusky, Parviz Partow-Navid
All branches of federal government are required to change their business practices to a paperless operation. Privacy and information security are... Sample PDF
Federal Public-Key Infrastructure
Chapter 41
Sheng-Uei Guan
One hindrance to the widespread adoption of mobile-agent technology is the lack of security. Security will be the issue that has to be addressed... Sample PDF
Integrity Protection of Mobile Agent Data
Chapter 42
David C. Wyld
We are in the midst of what may become one of the true technological transformations of our time. RFID (radio frequency identification) is by no... Sample PDF
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology
Chapter 43
Sheng-Uei Guan
There has been a lot of research done in the area of intelligent agents. Some of the literature (Guilfoyle, 1994; Johansen, Marzullo, & Lauvset... Sample PDF
Roaming-Agent Protection for E-Commerce
Chapter 44
Amalia Agathou, Theodoros Tzouramanis
Over the past few years, the Internet has changed computing as we know it. The more possibilities and opportunities develop, the more systems are... Sample PDF
The Role of Data Mining in Intrusion Detection Technology
Chapter 45
Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Information technology development and implementation have been recognized as forms of organizational change (Doherty & King, 2003; Orlikowski... Sample PDF
System Dynamics to Understand Public Information Technology
Chapter 46
Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Contemporary organizations face the challenge of growing and advancing in a complex and changing environment (Johannessen, Olaisen, & Olsen, 2001;... Sample PDF
Government Innovation Through Knowledge Management
Chapter 47
Kostas Metaxiotis
E-government, driven by an ever-increasing and pervasive use of information and communication technologies, is affecting the public sector more and... Sample PDF
A Framework for Knowledge Management in E-Government
Chapter 48
Hsiang-Jui Kung, Hui-Lien Tung
Many companies use the Web to communicate with the external world as well as within their organizations and to carry out their business processes... Sample PDF
Web Application Classification: A Maintenance/Evolution Perspective
Chapter 49
Bruce J. Neubauer
A review of the development of information systems can help in understanding the potential significance of Web services and service-oriented... Sample PDF
Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures
Chapter 50
Anton Joha, Marijn Janssen
Stimulated by recent advances in information and communication technology, and in their continuous pursuit for ways to reduce costs while at the... Sample PDF
The Strategic Determinants of Shared Services
Chapter 51
John Wang, Xiaohua Hu, Dan Zhu
Data mining involves searching through databases for potentially useful information such as knowledge rules, patterns, regularities, and other... Sample PDF
Data Mining in Public Administration
Chapter 52
Baoying Wang, Imad Rahal, Richard Leipold
Data clustering is a discovery process that partitions a data set into groups (clusters) such that data points within the same group have high... Sample PDF
Categorization of Data Clustering Techniques
Chapter 53
Sindoni Giuseppe, Tininini Leonardo
The Web is increasingly used as a preferred medium for A2C (administration to citizens) and A2B (administration to business) service delivery. An... Sample PDF
Statistical Dissemination Systems and the Web
Chapter 54
Text Mining  (pages 592-603)
Antonina Durfee
Massive quantities of information continue accumulating at about 1.5 billion gigabytes per year in numerous repositories held at news agencies, at... Sample PDF
Text Mining
Chapter 55
Maria Vardaki, Haralambos Papageorgiou
Quality was defined in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 8402-1986 standard as “the totality of features and characteristics... Sample PDF
Statistical Data and Metadata Quality Assessment
Chapter 56
Feng Xu, Yu-Jin Zhang
Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) has wide applications in public life. Either from a static image database or from the Web, one can search for a... Sample PDF
Probability Association Approach in Automatic Image Annotation
Chapter 57
Lixin Fu, Wen-Chen Hu
Since the late ’80s and early ’90s, database technologies have evolved to a new level of applications: online analytical processing (OLAP), where... Sample PDF
Online Analytical Processing and Data-Cube Technologies
Chapter 58
Kalu N. Kalu
Information technology affects organizations and society itself as it redefines work content, reorganizes leadership styles and cultures, reshuffles... Sample PDF
Managing People and Information in Complex Organizations
Chapter 59
Vincent E. Lasnik
This chapter examines the realm of human-factors design for public information technology in the rapidly evolving postmodern knowledge age of the... Sample PDF
Human-Factors Design for Public Information Technology
Chapter 60
Anne C. Rouse
For the past 15 years, governments in the developed, Western world have been contracting out, or outsourcing, services as a key part of publicsector... Sample PDF
An Overview of IT Outsourcing in Public-Sector Agencies
Chapter 61
Jeffrey Roy
The purpose of this chapter is to undertake a critical examination of the emergence of e-health in the Canadian Province of Ontario. More than... Sample PDF
E-Health, Local Governance, and Public-Private Partnering in Ontario
Chapter 62
Stephen K. Aikins
The evolving nature of information security threats such as cybercrime, as well as the need to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of citizen... Sample PDF
Implementing a Sound Public Information Security Program
Chapter 63
Michael Middleton
In recent times, the popularity of the Internet has led to e-government practices being widely recognized as an important option for service to the... Sample PDF
Evaluation of E-Government Web Sites
Chapter 64
Chad Lin
Public-sector organizations are one of the top spenders in information technology (IBM, 2006). According to an IDC report, global public-sector IT... Sample PDF
IT Evaluation Issues in Australian Public-Sector Organizations
Chapter 65
Gabriel Puron-Cid, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
An influential theoretical tradition in information systems research suggests that information and communication technology has the power to... Sample PDF
Performance and Accountability in E-Budgeting Projects
Chapter 66
Craig P. Orgeron
For public-sector administrators burdened with the task of recruiting and retaining information technology (IT) professionals, these are difficult... Sample PDF
A Model for Reengineering IT Job Classes in State Government
Chapter 67
Gerald Grant, Derek Chau
Electronic government (e-government) initiatives are pervasive and form a significant part of government investment portfolio in almost all... Sample PDF
Developing a Generic Framework for E-Government
Chapter 68
Nancy Weigand, Isabel F. Cruz, Naijun Zhou, William Sunna
This paper describes a Web-based query system for semantically heterogeneous government-produced data. Geospatial Web-based information systems and... Sample PDF
A Web Query System for Heterogeneous Government Data
Chapter 69
James Melitski, Marc Holzer, Seang-Tae Kim, Chan-Gun Kim, Seung-Yong Rho
This article evaluates the current practice of digital government in large municipalities worldwide. The study assesses 84 cities from around the... Sample PDF
Digital Government Worldwide: An E-Government Assessment of Municipal Web Sites
Chapter 70
Genie N.L. Stowers
This article examines the user help and service navigation features in government Web sites and compares them across levels of government. These... Sample PDF
User Help and Service Navigation Features in Government Web Sites
Chapter 71
B. Rossi, M. Scotto, A. Sillitti, G. Succi
The aim of the article is to report the results of a migration to Open Source Software (OSS) in one public administration. The migration focuses on... Sample PDF
An Empirical Study on the Migration to in a Public Administration
Chapter 72
Francesca Andreescu
Underpinning £136 billion of economic activity in the United Kingdom, Britain’s National Mapping Agency is a commercialising public sector... Sample PDF
Organisational Challenges of Implementing E-Business in the Public Services: The Case of Britain's National Mapping Agency
Chapter 73
Chan-Gon Kim, Marc Holzer
The Internet provides a new digital opportunity for realizing democracy in public administration, and this study raises a central question: What... Sample PDF
Public Administrators' Acceptance of the Practice of Digital Democracy: A Model Explaining the Utilization of Online Policy Forums in South Korea
Chapter 74
Luis F. Luna-Reyes, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Cinthia Betiny Cruz
After six years of challenges and learning pushing forward the e-Government agenda in Mexico, the Presidential succession brought an opportunity for... Sample PDF
E-Mexico: Collaborative Structures in Mexican Public Administration
Chapter 75
Pippa Norris
The core issue for this study concerns less the social than the political consequences of the rise of knowledge societies; in particular, the... Sample PDF
The Impact of the Internet on Political Activism: Evidence from Europe
Chapter 76
Monideepa Tarafdar, Sanjiv D. Vaidya
This case describes challenges in the adoption and implementation of IT in two public sector enterprises in the postal and distribution businesses... Sample PDF
Adoption and Implementation of IT in Developing Nations: Experiences from Two Public Sector Enterprises in India
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