Internet use in the home: Digital inequality from a domestication perspective

Anique J. Scheerder*, Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Jan A.G.M. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
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This study uses a domestication approach to digital inequality. The aim is to uncover whether and why less-educated families benefit less from Internet use than highly educated families. The predominantly quantitative approach of digital divide research provides little explanation as to why digital inequalities exist. Interviews were conducted with the heads of 48 Dutch families. The results showed that Internet use and routines in the home are shaped differently for families with different educational backgrounds. In all four phases of domestication, the highly educated demonstrated a critical view toward the Internet, resulting in considered use and redefinition. Less-educated members tended to be less interested in Internet developments and overall have a less reflective stance. Inequalities between different social strata already arise in the early stages of domestication and are magnified in the subsequent phases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2099-2118
Number of pages20
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number10
Early online date2 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • digital inequality
  • domestication theory
  • qualitative approach
  • social inequality
  • Digital divide


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