The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society explains why the digital divide is still widening and, in advanced high-tech societies, deepening. Taken from an international perspective, the book offers full coverage of the literature and research and a theoretical framework from which to analyze and approach the issue. Where most books on the digital divide only describe and analyze the issue, Jan van Dijk presents 26 policy perspectives and instruments designed to close the divide itself.
Chatper 8: Inequality in the Network Society
Information is not power. The familiar expression that information is power should be qualified. Information is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for the possession of power. Otherwise, those people gathering, processing, and diffusing information all day and in the highest quantities, such as scientists, teachers, and journalists, would be the most powerful people in society. Clearly, they are not. The other necessary condition is to possess a specific (powerful) position in society.
Certain positions in social and media networks increasingly establish a person's power in society (van Dijk, 1999). In social networks, one finds “stars” or “centers” as well as people who are isolated or hold peripheral positions. In media networks, there are people who ...