Journal article

Whereas recent studies show that the size of the Digital Divide has been shrinking for many groups, this article explores whether social-economic factors explain the racial, geographic, and gender divides. Rural, minority, and female respondents were less likely to have home computers or to be connected to the Internet. Controlling for socioeconomic variables, the effects of rural residence and gender disappeared but African Americans were still less likely to have home computers or Internet access. When public Internet access was examined, rural residence and gender had no effect but African Americans were more likely to know of public facilities in their community even when socioeconomic variables were controlled. Future research needs to better understand the implications of different ways of using new technology (i. e., public vs. private access) and determine if digital technology deepens socioeconomic chasms or provides new opportunities.

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