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The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth?

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Overview

The Digital Divide refers to the perceived gap between those who have access to the latest information technologies and those who do not. If we are indeed in an Information Age, then not having access to this information is an economic and social handicap. Some people consider the Digital Divide to be a national crisis,while others consider it an over-hyped nonissue. This book presents data supporting the existence of such a divide in the 1990s along racial, economic, ethnic, and education lines. But it also presents evidence that by 2000 the gaps are rapidly closing without substantive public policy initiatives and spending. Together, the contributions serve as a sourcebook on this controversial issue.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This is the best collection and analysis of the history, measurement,and policy implications of the widely discussed 'digital divide' between those who have access to new technologies and those who lag behind. A self-described agnostic on the issue when he began examining it, Compaine presents the important studies measuring differing rates of adoptions of communications technologies, draws comparisons with earlier technologies, and then invites readers to consider options for government and for an informed democracy. This is an important work that deserves attention and wide readership."—Adam Clayton Powell, III, Vice President,Technology and Programs, The Freedom ForumPlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262531931
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2001
  • Series: MIT Press Sourcebooks
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin M. Compaine is Senior Research Affiliate at the Internet and Telecoms Convergence Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the editor of The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth? (MIT Press, 2001) and coauthor of Who Owns the Media?

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
I The Set-Up: Documenters of the Digital Divide 1
1 Falling through the Net: A Survey of the "Have-Nots" in Rural and Urban America 7
2 Falling through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide 17
3 The Evolution of the Digital Divide: Examining the Relationship of Race to Internet Access and Usage over Time 47
II The Context: Background and Texture 99
4 Information Gaps: Myth or Reality? 105
5 Universal Service from the Bottom Up: A Study of Telephone Penetration in Camden, New Jersey 119
6 Universal Access to Online Services: An Examination of the Issue 147
7 Universal Service Policies as Wealth Redistribution 179
III The Advocates: Raising the Stakes 189
8 Equality in the Information Age 195
9 The Digital Divide Confronts the Telecommunications Act of 1996: Economic Reality versus Public Policy 199
10 The E-rate in America: A Tale of Four Cities 223
11 Universal Access to Email: Feasibility and Societal Implications 243
12 Clinton Enlists Help for Plan to Increase Computer Use 263
IV Reality Check: Tracking a Moving Target in High-Tech Time 265
13 Data from Three Empirical Studies, 2000 269
Internet and Society: A Preliminary Report 269
The Digital World of Hispanics in the United States 272
Survey of Americans on Technology 274
14 The Truth about the Digital Divide 279
15 Internet Access Spreads to More Classrooms, Survey Finds 285
16 Cheap Computers Bridge Digital Divide 289
17 This Internet Start-Up Looks to Conquer an Online Divide 293
V What's It All Mean? 299
18 Of Gaps by Which Democracy We Measure 303
19 Falling for the Gap: Whatever Happened to the Digital Divide? 309
20 Declare the War Won 315
Epilogue 337
Source Notes 341
Contributors 343
Index 345
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2001

    Trends Point to Digital Inclusion

    The Digital Divide refers to the perceived gap between those who have access to the latest information technologies and those who do not. If we are indeed in an Information Age, then not having access to this information is an economic and social handicap. Some people consider the Digital Divide to be a national crisis, while others consider it an over-hyped nonissue. This book presents data supporting the existence of such a divide in the 1990s along racial, economic, ethnic, and education lines. But it also presents evidence that by 2000 the gaps are rapidly closing without substantive public policy initiatives and spending. Together, the contributions serve as a sourcebook on this controversial issue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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