David answered on Dec 20 2021
Overview of digital divide
Digital divide can be defined as the gap between those who do and those who do not have
access to computer technology, the Internet and the ability or skills to use them (Van Dijk
2005:1). The emergence of the term emerged in the mid 1990s after the growth of the Internet
(Whalley 2007:70). Digital divide is a long term problem that will mark all future information
societies. Digital divide segregate the society into two parts, which is the haves and have-nots.
“Haves” are those people who are from the top or upper class, they are perceived as living
comfortably and capable of obtaining a vast range of resources, including those that allow them
to take part in the digital revolution (Mack 2001:36). On the other hand, the “have-nots” are
those people who are from the lower class; they are viewed as living in unstable environments
piecing together meager resources just to keep roofs over their heads and food on the table
(Mack 2001:36). The researcher has found that digital divide has the greatest potential to doom
the have-nots to the status of permanent underclass.
According to Van Dijk (2005:3), people mainly focused on the cost and availability of
computer technology and the Internet when the term digital divide first come into sight. As
computer prices fall, the number of people having access to computer technology increased,
therefore it shows that it is not all about the high cost of technology but also that there are certain
technical skills needed, in order to operate a computer (Dijk & Hacker 2003:315). People need to
have knowledge, skills and abilities on how to use information and communication technologies
(ICTs). People need to have skills such as instrumental skills that enable them to operate a
computer, informational skills that enable them to search and process information, and strategic
skills that will help them on how to use the information effectively (Dijk & Hacker, 2003:317).
Causes of Digital Divide
The largest and most noteworthy differential is developing between whites and blacks,
two groups that have been divided on myriad bases throughout the course of history (Mack
2001:6). Thus, in many respects, it is as if this historical divide is simply repeating itself on the
technology landscape. Black households are far less likely than white households to own
personal computers and have Internet access (Korupp 2004:409). The blacks have always been
disadvantaged throughout history, they were not given the opportunity to be educated, and
instead they became slaves for the whites. Due to this, they were not able to have access to
computer technology and Internet. The gap continue to grow even today because children from
whites families are taken to private schools which they have access to computer technology and
Internet, while children from blacks families are sent to public or inferior schools where there
are no computers at all.
Income difference is the most important factor for physical access, although it strongly
elates with education, employment status and occupation (Van Dijk 2005:50). The amount of
money that people earn determines what they will afford to buy. For example people who earn
more income are more likely to own computers, Internet connections and smart phones.
Moreover they are able to feed their families. On the other hand, for people who earn less
income it could be a luxury to buy things like computers and smart phones (González 2003:5).
They only afford to buy basic things for their families.
Gender differences in relation to technology start very early in life. Parents often buy
technical toys for boys while girls are given dolls. The boys always help their fathers with
technical things for example when fixing cars. “This progress in adulthood, where males are able
to appropriate the great majority of technical and strategically important jobs and, in practice,
keep females out of these jobs, whether they are conscious of this fact or not” (Van Dijk
2005:11). Females are said to be less technical and this is just due to the stereotype that have
een there in societies before feminism evolved. According to (Van Dijk 2005:80), young
women are almost equal to men in mastering these skills, in particular when they have learned
them at schools. The researcher has found that the gap is...