Historical Perspectives on Analog and Digital Equity: A Critical Race Theory Approach

Historical Perspectives on Analog and Digital Equity: A Critical Race Theory Approach

Patricia Randolph Leigh (Iowa State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-774-4.ch001
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Abstract

In this chapter, the author uses the philosophical lens of critical race theory (CRT) to shed light upon the vast inequalities in access to information technologies that exist among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups; a phenomenon that has come to be known as the digital divide. The primary focus is on how the digital divide has played out for African Americans and the use of CRT to explain the history of inequalities and why significant differences in educational opportunities have persisted into the 21st century. The author adopts the term “analog divide” to refer to all the non-computer/telecommunications- based educational inequities that African Americans have experienced for decades and even centuries. She further purports that one cannot understand or begin to rectify the digital divide unless one is willing to fully confront and attack the problem of the analog divide that preceded it and continues to persist.

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