Redefining the digital divide in the 'smart state'
Partridge, Helen L. (2007) Redefining the digital divide in the 'smart state'. In Ellis, A (Ed.) Proceedings of the Thirteenth Australasian World Wide Web Conference, The Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW.
This paper will present a research project that explores the psychological factors that prevent people within community from integrating information and communication technology (ICT) into their lives. The research will use Bandura's social cognitive theory to examine the psychology of the digital divide. Participants in the study are members of the Brisbane community. Self administered surveys are used for data collection. The research has both theoretical and practical significance. It establishes a way of thinking about and understanding digital inequality in community that goes beyond just simple physical access to ICT. The research provides evidence that the characteristics or make up of the digital divide is more complex than the current socio-economic understanding of the phenomenon. The research illustrates that psychology does matter, and that the digital divide involves both more members of the population and different members of the population then current research has shown to date. The digital divide is not about computers, modems, the internet and hardware. It is about people. As such the key to solving the issue of digital inequality is not going to be found with corporate or government funds providing physical access to technology. Instead, the key to solving digital inequality is inside the individual person.
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