International Journal of Internet Science

A peer reviewed open access journal for empirical findings, methodology, and theory of social and behavioral science concerning the Internet and its implications for individuals, social groups, organizations, and society.

Volume 1, Issue 1 (Special Issue, March 2006)

No Man is an Island: The Influence of Knowledge, Household Settings, and Social Context on Private Computer Use
Sylvia E. Korupp
Erfurt University

Abstract: In modern societies, the digital divide indicates the emergence of a new form of social inequality. The theoretical model presented in this paper captures effects on the micro-, meso-, and macro-level. The empirical findings are replicated for the years of 1997 and 2001 of the GSOEP (the German Socio-Economic Panel). Large net effects are observed on the macro-level, for gender, Turkish ethnicity, and generation. On the micro- and the meso-level the net effects are substantial, too. Knowledge and household setting significantly add to explain who accesses computers and who does not. It remains an open question as to how a potential lack of primary social ties, i.e. living with children, may be compensated to help close the digital divide.

Keywords: Computer, knowledge, children, generation, gender, region, ethnicity

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