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

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Abstract

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
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 2 May 2019

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Internet
digital divide
social stratum
interview

Keywords

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

Cite this

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title = "Internet use in the home: Digital inequality from a domestication perspective",
abstract = "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.",
keywords = "UT-Hybrid-D, digital inequality, domestication theory, qualitative approach, social inequality, Digital divide",
author = "Scheerder, {Anique J.} and {van Deursen}, {Alexander J.A.M.} and {van Dijk}, {Jan A.G.M.}",
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