Defining the ‘Digital Divide’: Developing a Theoretical Understanding of Inequalities in the Information Age


Work data:

ISBN: 1 872330 967

Type of work: Working Paper


Digital Divide | e-Readiness


The present paper presents a theoretical examination of the ‘digital divide’, tracing its origins in the centre-left social inclusion policy agenda of the 1980s and 1990s to its current status of political ‘hot topic’. The paper then moves on to consider four theoretical and conceptual limitations to conventional notions of the ‘digital divide’ in terms of individuals with and without ‘access’ to ‘ICT’. Having established a more sophisticated hierarchical model of the digital divide the paper concludes by developing a set of research themes and questions for future examination of inequalities in people’s access to and use of ICT.