Handbook of Digital Inequality


Handbook of Digital Inequality

9781788116565 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Eszter Hargittai, Professor and Chair of Internet Use and Society, Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78811 656 5 Extent: 400 pp
This cutting-edge Handbook offers fresh perspectives on the key topics related to the unequal use of digital technologies. Considering the ways in which technologies are employed, variations in conditions under which people use digital media and differences in their digital skills, it unpacks the implications of digital inequality on life outcomes.

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This cutting-edge Handbook offers fresh perspectives on the key topics related to the unequal use of digital technologies. Considering the ways in which technologies are employed, variations in conditions under which people use digital media and differences in their digital skills, it unpacks the implications of digital inequality on life outcomes.

International contributors assess a variety of key contexts that impact access to digital technologies, including contextual variations related to geography and infrastructure, as well as individual differences related to age, income, health and disability status. Chapters explore how variations emerge across the life course, illustrating the effects of digital disparities on personal wellbeing. Intervening in critical debates relating to the digital divide, this Handbook offers key insights into privacy and trust issues that affect technological usage.

Employing both quantitative and qualitative investigations into the relationship between social inequality and the Internet, this Handbook is crucial reading for scholars and researchers in both communication and sociology, particularly those focusing on digital inequalities and human–computer interaction. It will also benefit policymakers in need of innovative approaches to understanding, challenging and addressing the digital divide.
Critical Acclaim
‘This collection is deeply needed amid the hype of digital equity and inclusion. Not only does it focus attention on areas, topics, and communities that demand greater understanding (the elderly, hardware access, disability, and privacy) but it adds crucial nuance and context to the present public and political conversation on digital equity and inclusion, especially given the IIJA’s digital equity programs. It reminds us that money will not solve these issues without deeper understanding and community-driven approaches. In addition to being a must-read for policy makers, this collection would be welcome in senior undergraduate or graduate courses on digital policy, broadband policy, the digital divide, digital media, health communication, media and disability, and research methods, among many others.’
– Christopher Ali, International Journal of Communication

‘Eszter Hargittai''s edited volume, Handbook of Digital Inequality, is an important addition to the communication and technology literature. Digital inequalities are very real and significantly impactful, and this volume shines a bright light on the areas to which we should be giving more attention. Hargittai has compiled a thoughtful collection of chapters that collectively create a robust resource that readers will likely find themselves revisiting frequently for references, data points, and interesting ideas for research directions.’
– James Jarc, Communication Research Trends

‘At the dawn of the Internet age, digital inequality was a central concern. But then a combination of triumphalism (in the developed nations) and spiraling complexity (rapid proliferation of ways to go online and things to do there) led attention to shift away from this topic. As work and schooling moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world rediscovered that inequality in access to digital platforms and resources remains high and is ever more central to social inequality overall. Eszter Hargittai has identified the scholars who have sustained a research focus on digital inequality and have found ways to cast empirical light on such complex issues as the impact of different ways of accessing the Internet and variation in online skills, and has produced a Handbook that will be invaluable to anyone who cares about social inequality – just when we need it the most.’
– Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University, US

‘This is a must-have book for any social scientist concerned with the digital age for, as its multiple authors clearly demonstrate, not only is almost every dimension of our lives now digital, but everything digital is, in one way or another, unequal. The task is to transcend early ideas of the digital divide to develop a complex and contextual understanding of digital inequality that can, potentially, help us to ameliorate or overcome its excesses and adverse consequences.’
– Sonia Livingstone, LSE, UK and author, Parenting for a Digital Future

‘The pandemic highlighted the critical and persistent need for widespread and equitable use of the internet in societies throughout the world. This timely Handbook provides a roadmap forward, with a comprehensive view of leading research, written by an international and stellar set of authors who have shaped the field and continue to innovate with new insights.’
– Karen Mossberger, Arizona State University, US

Contributors: Grant Blank, Jeffrey Boase, Heinz Bonfadelli, Allison Brown, Michael G. Brown, Moritz Büchi, Cody L.J. Buntain, Wenhong Chen, Javier Contreras, Teresa Correa, Shelia R. Cotten, Kerry Dobransky, Tomasz Drabowicz, Nicole B. Ellison, Noemi Festic, Chris Forman, Tiziano Gerosa, Gerard Goggin, Avi Goldfarb, Amy L. Gonzales, Shane Greenstein, Marco Gui, Eszter Hargittai, Ellen Helsper, Christian Pieter Hoffmann, Natascha Just, Travis Kadylak, Su Jung Kim, Junoh Kimm, Michael Latzer, Xiaoqian Li, Christoph Lutz, Marina Micheli, Yong Jin Park, Isabel Pavez, Anabel Quan-Haase, Glenna L. Read, Elissa M. Redmiles, Bianca C. Reisdorf, Alexis Schrubbe, Sharon Strover, Ashley Marie Walker, Barry Wellman, Harry Yan, Renwen Zhang

1 Introduction to the Handbook of Digital Inequality 1
Eszter Hargittai

2 What’s missing? How technology maintenance is overlooked in
representative surveys of digital inequalities 9
Amy L. Gonzales, Harry Yan, Glenna L. Read and Allison Brown
3 Geographic inequality and the Internet 28
Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb and Shane Greenstein
4 Infrastructure and instance: how rural communities approach short- and
long-term solutions to access 43
Alexis Schrubbe and Sharon Strover
5 Digital inequality and mobiles: opportunities and challenges of relying
on smartphones for digital inclusion in disadvantaged contexts 59
Teresa Correa, Isabel Pavez and Javier Contreras
6 Network and neighborhood effects in digital skills 72
Ellen Helsper

7 Mobile media in teen life: information, networks and access 95
junoh kimm and Jeffrey Boase
8 Looking back at millennials’ mobile transitions: differentiated patterns
of mobile phone use among a diverse group of young adults 111
Su Jung Kim and Eszter Hargittai
9 Smartphone pervasiveness in youth daily life as a new form of digital
inequality 128
Marco Gui and Tiziano Gerosa
10 Avoiding Facebook: low-income youths’ (negative) discourses about Facebook 145
Marina Micheli
11 Inequality in access to information about college: how low-income
first-year college students use social media for seeking and sharing
information about college 162
Michael G. Brown and Nicole B. Ellison
12 Digital skills inequality in the context of an aging society: the case of Poland 179
Tomasz Drabowicz
13 Digital inequality among older adults: how East Yorkers in Toronto
navigate digital media 191
Anabel Quan-Haase, Barry Wellman and Renwen Zhang
14 Online social connectedness and well-being among older adults in the USA 206
Travis Kadylak and Shelia R. Cotten

15 Digital inequalities in health communication 217
Heinz Bonfadelli
16 Inequalities in digital health behaviors in American disadvantaged communities 233
Xiaoqian Li and Wenhong Chen
17 Disability, internet, and digital inequality: the research agenda 252
Gerard Goggin
18 The closing skills gap: revisiting the digital disability divide 271
Kerry Dobransky and Eszter Hargittai

19 Why privacy matters to digital inequality 281
Yong Jin Park
20 Digital inequalities in online privacy protection: effects of age,
education and gender 293
Moritz Büchi, Noemi Festic, Natascha Just and Michael Latzer
21 How feelings of trust, concern, and control of personal online data
influence web use 308
Elissa M. Redmiles and Cody L. J. Buntain
22 Inequalities in online political participation: the role of privacy concerns 323
Christoph Lutz and Christian Pieter Hoffmann
23 Algorithmic literacy and platform trust 338
Bianca C. Reisdorf and Grant Blank
24 Drills and spills: developing skills to protect one’s privacy online 355
Ashley Marie Walker and Eszter Hargittai

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