The Compoundness and Sequentiality of Digital Inequality

Alexander van Deursen, Ellen Helsper, Rebecca Eynon, Jan van Dijk

Abstract


Through a survey with a representative sample of Dutch Internet users, this article examines compound digital exclusion: whether a person who lacks a particular digital skill also lacks another kind of skill, whether a person who does not engage in a particular way online is also less likely to engage in other ways, and whether a person who does not achieve a certain outcome online is also less likely to achieve another type of outcome. We also tested sequential digital exclusion: whether a lower level of digital skills leads to lower levels of engagement with the Internet, resulting in a lower likelihood for an individual to achieve tangible outcomes. Both types of digital exclusion are a reality. Certain use can have a strong relation with an outcome in a different domain. Furthermore, those who achieve outcomes in one domain do not necessarily achieve outcomes in another domain. To get a comprehensive picture of the nature of digital exclusion, it is necessary to account for different domains in research.



Keywords


digital inequality, digital divide, social inequality, Internet skills, Internet use

Full Text:

PDF

Comments on this article

View all comments