BiblioguidesSubject: Law and Political ScienceComputer science, Multimedia and Telecommunications
Main barriers and inequalities of online political participation
We open with an explanation of the concept of the digital divide, followed by a description of how the internet causes inequalities and differential factors in political participation, as well as some initiatives to fight against the digital divide.
The digital divide in political participation
The following provides you with information about the concept of the digital divide, understood as the distance between different communities (conditioned by issues of a socioeconomic, geographical or cultural nature, among others) concerning access to and use of new technologies and the effects on the new spaces and practices of online political participation.
Socio-demographic factors are central to examining the differences in participation, whether online or offline. The use of the internet increases or decreases these pre-existing differences.
Its author pays particular attention to the use of social media networks by political actors as well as citizens. Moreover, the study, based on data from 900 countries, discusses multiple factors that affect the digital divide, whether they be economic, cultural, in regard to specific skills or access to technology, and so on.
According to the authors, based on data from 2007, physical location is fundamental to having access to broadband and home internet use, which increases political participation.
The first digital divide depends on socio-demographic factors, but the second level becomes clear in the motivation to use the internet and the user's skills.
The authors consider that the digital divide can be analysed in terms of gender, race or class, as well as health care, economic activity and social capital.
The presumed government transparency and accessibility brought about by technology is a theory that is not put into practice in some regions, where some citizens do not have access to the opportunities technology brings with it.
On the one hand, access to technology brings freedom and creates more social participation. On the other hand, there is inequality between those who cannot access it and the concentration of power with those who possess it.
Article that reveals the limitations on African youths' access to technology. While European and North American youths use access to the internet for economic and professional growth, African youths fight against the digital divide, censored participation and acceptability in the internet economy.
It uses data collected in 2013 in the metropolitan area of Seoul. The sophistication of ICT is reflected in the digital divide according to different users groups.
The study reveals that geographical differences are not significant but rather related to demographic characteristics. It concludes by establishing a link between the findings and their political aspect.
Mentors of this biblioguide
Elisabet CerveraOperative subgroup: Librarian for Law and Political Science Operative group: Library for Learning