Introduction

Massimo Ragnedda, Glenn W. Muschert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The core analysis in this book is to examine and explain the phenomena of -digital divide and digital inequalities from a theoretical perspective. Indeed, only a small amount of theoretical research on digital divide has been carried out so far. Theorizing digital divide fills this gap by collecting different perspectives and theoretical approaches in analysing digital inequalities, and by proposing a more nuanced approach to study the digital divide. This book proposes some well-known theories (i.e. Weber, Bourdieu and Simmel) as well as hitherto untouched theoretical visions (i.e. neo-colonialism, recognitional perspective and non-western perspective) to explain this contemporary phenomenon. Theorizing digital divide brings together innovative work from a wide range of contexts and traditions which explicitly focus on the roles of theory in digital divide research. The book includes contextual and socio-historical analyses of existing traditions of theory and theorizing, exemplary use of theory and empirical work where theory has been used in innovative ways. Theorizing digital divide develops a very different standpoint. Each chapter takes core social theories and explains digital divide from a specific theoretical lens. In so doing authors offer several angles from which to look at the complexity of the phenomenon of digital divide. Indeed, although digital divide is a relatively new phenomenon (one of the first attempts to define it comes from Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1996), the inequalities (now reproduced in the digital sphere) are a deeply entrenched part of our current social world. Such inequalities have been described in multiple traditions of social thought and theoretical approaches. We cannot really understand the digital divide without seeing the broader picture in which we digitally engage. To understand such a picture we need the theoretical lens through which to give a meaning to the reality and transform observation to conceptualization. For this reason, we have invited scholars from different disciplines (Internet studies, sociology and media studies) to apply different theoretical approaches to provide a fresh perspective on the rise and persistence of digital and social inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheorizing Digital Divides
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315455327
ISBN (Print)9781138210400
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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