A Social Shaping Perspective of the Digital Divide: Implications for E-Business

A Social Shaping Perspective of the Digital Divide: Implications for E-Business

A. Genus (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-105-6.ch014
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Abstract

The digital divide is a phenomenon associated with disparities among groups and societies in the adoption and diffusion of electronic information and communications technology (ICTs) and electronic-business (e-business) practice. The chapter argues that, in rhetoric, at least, the innovation, adoption and diffusion of ICTs bear the hallmark of technological determinism (i.e., that of a technical imperative) in which social, economic and political factors are underplayed. By way of contrast, the chapter considers the merits of a social-shaping approach to the analysis of innovation in ICTs to assess the prospects for ameliorating the digital divide between developed and developing countries and for stimulating economic development in the latter through the promotion of e-business. The chapter suggests how future research on the social shaping of ICTs, e-business and the digital divide between developed and developing nations can meet the challenges discussed herein.

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