The Digital Divide and What To Do About It


Hargittai, E. (2003). “The Digital Divide and What To Do About It”. In Jones, D.C. (Ed.), New Economy Handbook, Chapter 35. San Diego: Academic Press.

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Digital Divide


In a society where knowledge-intensive activities are an increasingly important component of the economy, the distribution of knowledge across the population is increasingly linked to stratification. Much attention among both academic researchers and in policy circles has been paid to what segments of the population have access to the Internet or are Internet users. Although the medium has seen high rates of diffusion, its spread has been unequal both within and across nations. In this chapter, I look at (a) individual-level inequality in Internet access and use in the United States, (b) cross-national variation in connectedness, and (c) inequality from the side of content producers in gaining audiences for their material online.