The Digital Divide
The Digital Divide
Contrary to optimistic visions of a free internet for all, the problem of the ‘digital divide’ – the disparity between those with access to internet technology and those without – has persisted for close to twenty-five years.

In this textbook, Jan van Dijk considers the state of digital inequality and what we can do to tackle it. Through an accessible framework based on empirical research, he explores the motivations and challenges of seeking access and the development of requisite digital skills. He addresses key questions such as: Does digital inequality reduce or reinforce existing, traditional inequalities? Does it create new, previously unknown social inequalities? While digital inequality affects all aspects of society and the problem is here to stay, Van Dijk outlines policies we can put in place to mitigate it.

<i>The Digital Divide</i> is required reading for students and scholars of media, communication, sociology, and related disciplines, as well as for policymakers.
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  • January 2020
  • 208 pages
  • 153 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509534449
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509534456
  • Open eBook $21.99
  • 9781509534463
Table of Contents

1 What is the Digital Divide?
2 Research and Theory of the Digital Divide
3 Motivation and Attitude
4 Physical Access
5 Digital and 21st-Century Skills
6 Usage Inequality
7 Outcomes
8 Social and Digital Inequality
9 Solutions to Soften the Digital Divide

About the Author
Jan van Dijk is Professor of Communication Science and Sociology of the Information Society at the University of Twente.
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“Van Dijk continues his twenty-five-year leadership in digital divide research, from motivations and attitudes, access to adoption, use and skills, through to outcomes and solutions. His integrative model organizes these issues into a thoughtful, critical and readable story.”
Ronald Rice, University of California, Santa Barbara


“Jan van Dijk can be considered the godfather of digital divide theory. In this book, he brings his earlier work forward into a world that has changed beyond what even he could imagine. Building on existing research and new theoretical developments, he shows that digital divides are changing shape and are likely getting worse. Anyone interested in why, what and who we should be worried about in increasingly digital societies has to read this book.”
Ellen J. Helsper, author of The Digital Disconnect: Social Causes and Consequences of Digital Inequalities

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