AM07 START Conference Manager    

Redefining the digital divide: attitudes do matter!

Helen Partridge

(Submission #51)


For the majority of current day internet researchers they key issue is not who is connected to the internet but what are people doing when they are connected. In particular there is a growing interest in social computing, and especially technology such as blogs, wikis, myspace, and the like. But have we abandoned the issue of “who” for “what” too soon? This paper will present a research project that explores the psychological barriers that prevent people within community from integrating information and communication technology into their lives. The research will use the Social Cognitive Theory by Bandura to examine the psychology of the digital divide. Participants in the study are members of the San Jose community. Self administered surveys are used for data collection. The research influences our understanding of the digital divide by providing evidence that the characteristics or make up of the digital divide is more complex than the current understanding of the phenomenon. Existing digital divide studies have taken primarily a socio-economic perspective, and portray the digital divide as a relatively simple premise: the digital divide is a dichotomous concept - you either have access to ICT or you don’t; and this access is determined by factors such as income, employment and education. This research illustrates that psychology does matter; and that the digital divide involves both more members of the population and different members of the population then current research has shown to date. As such the current research has brought to light elements of the digital divide which have not being considered in contemporary discourse about the phenomenon.


START Conference Manager (V2.54.4)