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Digital Divide

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

By now, digital reality and everyday life for many people have become so thoroughly fused that it is difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle them. In this context, simple dichotomies such as “offline” and “online” fail to do justice to the diverse ways in which the “real” and virtual worlds are interpenetrated for hundreds of millions. Yet for many others—the familiar litany of the poor, the under-educated, ethnic minorities, and the socially marginalized—the Internet remains a distant, ambiguous world. Denied regular access to cyberspace by the inability to purchase a personal computer, the lack of technical skills necessary to log on, or public policies that assume their needs will be magically addressed by the market, the information have-nots living in the economically advanced world are ...

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