Establishing the Human Dimension of the Digital Divide

Establishing the Human Dimension of the Digital Divide

Helen Partridge (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch250
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Abstract

This chapter will explore the human dimension of the digital divide. It argues that existing digital divide research takes primarily a socio-economic perspective and that few studies have considered the social, psychological or cultural barriers that may contribute to digital inequality within community. This chapter will discuss an ongoing research project that explores the psychological factors that contribute to the digital divide. Using the Social Cognitive Theory, the research examines the Internet self-efficacy of Internet users and non-users in Brisbane, Australia and San Jose, California, USA. Developing a psychological perspective of the digital divide will expand current understanding of a phenomenon that has far reaching social and economic implications. It will allow a more precise understanding of what is and who represents the digital divide in community. Organisations who are involved in bridging the digital divide will be better placed to develop strategies and programs that can more effectively narrow the gap between ICT “haves” and “have-nots”.

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