Ethical Implications of the Digital Divide and Social Exclusion: Imperative for Cyber-Security Culture in Africa

Ethical Implications of the Digital Divide and Social Exclusion: Imperative for Cyber-Security Culture in Africa

Essien D. Essien (Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJIDE.2018010102
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Abstract

Despite that global internet usage continues to expand given the increase in the number of computer ownership and Internet access, a divide persists between information rich and information poor, which is people with lower incomes, education levels, skill and capacity, minorities, as well as those living in rural areas. Building on numerous researches on the digital divide, this study argues for a different set of metaphors by which digital divide should be understood, valued and managed. It examines the understanding that the digital divide is inevitably tied to the concept of social inequalities in every society. With an insight provided for understanding the independent and different layers of the digital divide, a criterion on appropriate approach toward tackling the problem of digital divide is thus supplied. Findings have significant implication for cumulative research on the subject of digital divide in Africa.
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Conceptual Framework

In the last one decade, contemporary criticism has witnessed an expanding conceptualization of where, and between whom, information inequities occur, and what these gaps entail for their different user groups (Schmith, 2012). However, recent scholarship has endeavoured to articulate a more nuanced conceptualization of the digital divide as a series of social gaps. But much of this literature refuses to view computer and Internet access as a technological determinism, and rather questions the reductive dichotomy of ICT haves and have-nots (Witte & Mannon, 2010). According to Wessels, “the rhetoric of the digital divide holds open the division between civilized tool-users and uncivilized nonusers” (2011). Obviously in the views of Eshet-Alkalie & Chajut, “how markets operate in the creation and maintenance of these digital divides, and how divisive political rhetoric damages efforts to locate remedies is a subject of concern (2009).

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