Inevitable inequalities? Exploring Differences in Internet Domestication Between Less and Highly Educated Families

Anique J. Scheerder

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Since the Internet was introduced a few decades ago, utopian views of promising futures for all were put forward. Now that the Internet is integrated into our lives, it is time to take stock. Unfortunately, not all of us seem to fully benefit from the potential advantages the Internet has got to offer. It even seems that those who are already socially disadvantaged offline, also lag behind when going online. While they could benefit relatively most from the Internet, the disadvantaged are expected to obtain less positive outcomes of Internet use and suffer more from negative outcomes. Their offline resources are thus likely to be diminished through their online activities, while the ones that are already advantaged most reap the benefits. As a consequence, social disparities are likely to grow. Most studies that attempted to unravel why some benefit more from being online than others, were limited to sociodemographic explanations and mainly applied quantitative approaches. This dissertation takes on a qualitative approach that departs from the Internet users’ social contexts, in which important clues and directions for differences in Internet outcomes might resonate. Instead of taking the individual as a
point of departure, families with different compositions and educational backgrounds participated in a series of interviews to find socio-contextual explanations for why Internet users differentially benefit from being online.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Deursen, Alexander J.A.M., Supervisor
  • van Dijk, Jan A.G.M., Supervisor
Award date6 Dec 2019
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4857-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-4857-1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019


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