Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide / Edition 1

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Overview

Digital Divide examines access and use of the Internet in 179 nations world-wide. A global divide is evident between industrialized and developing societies. A social divide is apparent between rich and poor within each nation. Within the online community, evidence for a democratic divide is emerging between those who do and do not use Internet resources to engage and participate in public life. Part I outlines the theoretical debate between cyber-optimists who see the Internet as the great leveler. Part II examines the virtual political system and the way that representative institutions have responded to new opportunities on the Internet. Part III analyzes how the public has responded to these opportunities in Europe and the United States and develops the civic engagement model to explain patterns of participation via the Internet.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This path-breaking study in comparative political communication deserves a wide audience and is vital reading for anyone interested in the political impact of new information technologies." Press / Politics

"...Digital Divide is one of those rare works that can fairy be labeled as groundbreaking..." Governance

"It will likely become a standard in its area during the next few years." Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara

"In this valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion about the effect of the Internet on social, political, and economic life within and between nations, Norris offers a general model to describe developments thus far.... Norris makes a valuable contribution to understanding the present situation, offers a descriptive model, and hints at future trends in an intellectually worthwhile manner." Choice

"Pippa Norris in Digital Divide presents an extensively documented, well-reasoned, carefully argued, and well-balanced analysis of the role of the Internet..." Perspectives on Politics

"Digital Divide is exciting, thought-provoking, and engaging...I expect it will make its way into future generations. If you read only one book on this topic, make it this one." Edward J. Valauskas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521002233
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2009
  • Series: Communication, Society and Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Introductory Framework
1 The digital divide
2 Understanding the digital divide: wired world
3 Social inequalities
Pt. II The Virtual Political System
4 Theories of digital democracy
5 e-governance
6 Online parliaments
7 Virtual parties
8 Civic society
Pt. III The Democratic Divide
9 Cyberculture
10 Digital engagement
11 Conclusions: promoting digital democracy
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Digital Divide

    Robyn Kiniry

    After reading the book Digital Divide, I was in awe at all of the information and knowledge that I had just received. As I turned the book over to the back cover, I read this quote from Peter Dahlgren of Lund University: ¿With an extensive amount of up-to-date international data, she explores in a nuanced way the implications of these developments for democracy, within both the formal political system and civic society.¿ This quote describes this read exactly as I would. Within this book Norris tackles the fact that the digital divide between the nations across the world, is not only a divide between the rich and poor classes; in fact it is actually a divide that begins socially. I like what she says towards the beginning of the book, ¿The more interesting question, with important implications for understanding the new media, concerns the relative inequality of opportunities. Is it easier or more difficult to go online in different societies, compared with inequalities of access to other types of communication technologies, such as telephones and televisions?¿ This quotes sums up her stance in the beginning section of this book. Within the reading, Pippa separates understanding the digital divide into three different parts: The Digital Divide, The Virtual Political System and The Democratic Divide. In the Virtual Political system chapter, the author uses many graphs and numerous examples to explain how the internet is used within politics as well as the rise of e- governance in certain national departments, and online parliaments. The last section of the book gives insight to how people using the internet look at these growing changes within the democratic divide. With one quote towards the conclusion of the book, Norris states something that makes the reader think a little, she says ¿¿it is even more important that we seek to understand the underlying reasons for patterns of internet access and use at this stage in the diffusion process, even imperfectly before the initial inequalities rigidify into a virtual Berlin Wall dividing the information-rich and poor with and between societies.¿ This was an interesting book for me and certainly made me think about the technological divide between classes. This in depth explanation of this idea was very intriguing and made the reader want to continue, if I were to recommend a read concerning this topic, I would suggest this book.

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    Book Review

    This book is mainly about the outburst of the internet during the decade of the 1990s. Pippa Norris really dove into the issues of the internet and what impact the internet had upon cultures and society. Norris tried to understand these issues by giving surveys on what the public thought and she performed an analysis on many web sites. Pippa Norris is an associate director of the Joan Shorestein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
    The book is set up in a way that it is divided into three parts. In the first part of the book, the introductory framework, Norris lays down the hypothetical structure in the Internet Engagement Model which proposes that use of the new technology can be understood as the product of resources, motivation and the structure of opportunities. Norris also discusses access to the internet on a world wide scale and she goes as far as showing the gender and class gaps. In the second part, the virtual political system, the author dove into the political use of the internet and its importance globally. And in the third and final part, the democratic divide, Norris researches the news part of the internet and she herself gives alternatives for reducing the digital divide.
    I really thought that this book was an interesting read. I like how in the beginning of the book she gives the reader a list of where all of the tables and figures are located within the book. In case you want a quick reference to a certain table, you don't have to waste a lot of time searching for it. I think she makes a very good point at the end of her book when she says, "before initial inequalities rigidify into a virtual Berlin Wall dividing the information-rich and poor, within and between societies.
    I think one of the best ways to sum up this book is with a quote I read from Edward J. Valauskas, "Digital Divide is exciting, thought-provoking, and engaging...I expect it will make its way into future generations. If you read only one book on this topic, make it this one."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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