The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon

Johannes A.G.M. van Dijk, Kenneth Hacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The purpose of this article is to propose a fruitful analytical framework for data supposedly related to the concept of the socalled “digital divide.” The extent and the nature of this divide depend on the kind of access defined. Considering the possession of hardware, growing divides among different categories of income, employment, education, age, and ethnicity can be proved to have existed in the 1980s and 1990s according to official American and Dutch statistics. If only by effects of saturation, these gaps will more or less close. However, it is shown that differential access of skills and usage is likely to increase. The growth of a usage gap is projected. Multivariate analyses of Dutch official statistics reveal the striking effect of age and gender as compared to education. The usage gap is related to the evolution of the information and network society. Finally, policy perspectives are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-326
Number of pages12
JournalThe Information society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Information Inequality
  • Information Society
  • Network Society
  • Digital Divide
  • Digital Skills
  • S-curve Of Adoption
  • Usage Gap
  • Usage Of Information Technology
  • Knowledge Gap
  • Policies Of Information Equality
  • METIS-213336
  • IR-58689
  • Access To Information Technology


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