Beyond the digital divide: Re-assessing knowledge gaps
Williams, Jocelyn; Sligo, Frank
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Citation:Sligo, F., & Williams, J. (2002). Beyond the digital divide: Re-assessing knowledge gaps. In M. Power (Ed.). Proceedings of the ANZCA 2002 Conference - Communication: Reconstructed for the 21st Century. Available from http://www.hss.bond.edu.au/ANZCA/journtp.htm
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1934
Research into social exclusion is exploring how the Internet influences citizens’ access to resources, and whether a digital divide (DD) now exists that creates social and economic haves and have-nots. If so, will new information and communication technologies (ICT) exacerbate or ameliorate the problem? Two New Zealand studies of information poverty suggest that dualistic constructs such as the DD, which owes its origins to studies of information richness versus information poverty, are not sufficiently robust to bear the weight of analysis of ICT’s effects on society. In this paper, we propose that binary views of information impoverishment are misleading, and we describe how more in-depth ways of seeing the topic are needed to reconfigure its rhetoric. A continuum of relative information deprivation is seen as more realistic than a binary model and we offer a perspective on information poverty based on the diverse life-worlds inherent in pluralistic societies.