Beyond digital divide: toward an agenda for change

Neil Selwyn, Keri Facer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses how digital exclusion continues to present a serious and significant threat to the successful establishment of developed and developing countries as 'information societies.' Based on a review of recent research and theoretical work, the chapter considers a number of different reasons why digital exclusion remains a complex and entrenched social problem, highlighting the need to recognise the mediating role of economic, cultural, and social forms of capital in shaping individuals' engagements with ICT. From this basis, the chapter proposes a hierarchical framework of digital exclusion based around conceptual 'stages' of ICT use. Using this framework, the argument is made that policymakers, technologists, and other information society stakeholders face a considerable challenge to match the social affordances of ICTs with the everyday needs, interests, and desires of individuals. In this sense, digital exclusion continues to demand a complex set of policy responses which go far beyond simply increasing levels of hardware provision and support, and then assuming any 'gaps' to have been 'bridged.' The chapter concludes by highlighting a number of possible directions for future action.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides
Subtitle of host publicationConstructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
EditorsEnrico Ferro, Yogesh Kumar Dwivedi, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Michael D. Williams
Place of PublicationHershey PA USA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781605667003
ISBN (Print)9781605666990
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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