The digital production gap: The digital divide and Web 2.0 collide
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:Digital Divide | e-Democracy | Participation & Uses | Politics and Political Science
How does class intersect with claims of digital democracy? Most digital inequality research focuses on digital consumption or participation, but this study uses a production lens to examine who is creating digital content for the public sphere. My results point to a class-based gap among producers of online content. A critical mechanism of this inequality is control of digital tools and an elite Internet-in-practice and information habitus to use the Internet. Using survey data of American adults, I apply a logit analysis of 10 production activities—from Web sites and blogs to discussion forums and social media sites. Even among people who are already online, a digital production gap challenges theories that the Internet creates an egalitarian public sphere. Instead, digital production inequality suggests that elite voices still dominate in the new digital commons.