Lecture 7, 6/12

The Digital Divide
What is the “digital divide”, if at all there is such a thing? In this class, we will look at Keniston’s views regarding this divide, and the alternatives he offers for examining this phenomenon. We will then consider the example of the OLPC project, and see how it aims to resolve this ‘digital divide’. Our guest speaker for the day, Jen Schradie, will continue this discussion, drawing upon her own research findings.

Required readings
– Keniston, K. 2004. “Introduction: The Four Digital Divides.” in K. Keniston and R. Kumar (Eds) Experience in India: Bridging the Digital Divide, Sage Publications, p. 11-36.
– Gomez, R. 2013. “When You Do Not Have a Computer: Public-Access Computing in Developing Countries.” Information Technology for Development, 2013
– Schradie, J. 2012. “The Trend of Class, Race, and Ethnicity in Social Media Inequality: Who Still Cannot Afford to Blog?” Information, Communication & Society Vol. 15 No. 4.

Background readings
– Robinson, L. 2009. “A Taste for the Necessary.” Information, Communication & Society Vol. 12 No. 4.
– Yang, Y., et al. 2013. “Roots of Tomorrow’s Digital Divide: Documenting Computer Use and Internet Access in China’s Elementary Schools Today.” China & World Economy Vol. 21 No. 3.
– Warschauer, M. 2004. Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide. The MIT Press.