Gaps close, gaps open: A repeated cross-sectional study of the scope and determinants of the ethnic digital divide

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Abstract

The paper is part of a repeated cross-sectional study examining how groups in multi-ethnic states adopt and use information and communication technologies, with focus on the magnitude and the determinants of the digital divide between Jews and Arabs in Israel as a case study. The study examines socio-economic and socio-demographic factors correlated to internet usage in general and usage of social media in particular, based on data collected between 2008 and 2010 by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Annual Social Survey. The data was collected by means of face-to-face interviews conducted annually among 7500 interviewees aged 20 and above. The study demonstrates the multi-dimensionality of the digital divide phenomena and shows how the digital divide does not diminish, yet, rather, transforms over time. As access differences between Jews and Arabs gradually diminish, a 'second-level' digital divide of social media usage actually widens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Governance
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Internet access
  • Internet usage
  • Social media

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