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What is the digital divide?

April 26, 2001: This message was distributed by Papyrus News. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For info on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.

Most of my research this year is devoted to the issue of technology and social inequality. I'm working on a new book for MIT Press tentatively called _Dissecting the Digital Divide: Access and Stratification in the Age of Information_. The book attempts to examine conceptually and empirically the relationship of digital information to social inequality, and how a "digital divide" can be best overcome. The main purpose of the book is to put the question of a digital divide in a broader social context.

I wrote a short paper a few months ago with some of the ideas behind the book and I finally had a chance to put it on my Website. The URL (in pdf format) is <>. Or you link to download it (in pdf format) by going to this page: <>.

(This will be a good test of just how widespread PDF format is. I used to put all my papers up in HTML, but I think I'm going to start to put them up in PDF. Let's see how many emails of protest or confusion I get on that :-)).

This is a bare outline of a line of thinking that is in progress so comments are welcome.

Research on the book will draw on a variety of social science theory and empirical data from several countries. There's some really interesting things going on in Community Technology Centers in California, and this summer I'll be traveling to China, Brazil, and India.

Anyway, as mentioned above, comments welcome.

Mark Warschauer

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Last updated: April 29, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0