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By James E. Katz, Ronald E. Rice

Drawing on nationally consultant cell surveys performed from 1995 to 2000, James Katz and Ronald Rice supply a wealthy and nuanced photo of net use in the USA. utilizing quantitative information, in addition to case reports of websites, they discover the effect of the web on society from 3 views: entry to web know-how (the electronic divide), involvement with teams and groups during the net (social capital), and use of the web for social interplay and expression (identity). to supply a extra finished account of net use, the authors draw comparisons throughout media and comprise net nonusers and previous clients of their research.The authors name their examine the Syntopia venture to show the Internet’s function as one amongst a bunch of verbal exchange applied sciences in addition to the synergy among people’s on-line actions and their real-world lives. Their significant discovering is that american citizens use the net as an extension and enhancement in their day-by-day exercises. opposite to media sensationalism, the net is neither a utopia, releasing humans to shape an international egalitarian neighborhood, nor a dystopia-producing armies of disembodied, lonely contributors. like every type of communique, it's as useful or destructive as those that use it.

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While new communication technologies can bridge gaps between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, and haves and have-nots and can provide new ways of participating and interacting (for example, Downing, 1989; ECRL, 1999; Freire, 1969; Furlong, 1989; Greenberger & Puffer, 1989; NTIA, 1999; Pfaffenberger, Access 19 1990; Schon, Sanyal & Mitchell, 1999), they may also widen existing gaps, further blocking access to those already without access (Gillespie & Robins, 1989; Hudson, 1988; Jansen, 1989; Rubinyi, 1989; Schiller, 1996; Wresch, 1996).

It is part of a group of similar projects in other countries. 2% of those with some college used the Internet. 1%). 4% for males). A study published by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (Cooper & Shah, 2000) collected responses from a single statistically balanced panel (n ¼ 1,902) measured at two time periods (February 1999 and June 2000) drawn from respondents agreeing to participate in a large-scale lifestyles study. The overall conclusion is that ‘‘the disconnected are, in fact, disadvantaged and disenfranchised’’ (p.

That is, simply having access, independent of the quality or speed of the connection, is the crucial distinction. Given these ongoing differences in the types of people who have access to, and use, the Internet, it is unlikely that the current knowledge gaps between upper and lower socioeconomic groups will diminish. Barriers, Influences, and Consequences Clearly, there are many physical and socioeconomic barriers to equal access. Keller (1995) expands the concept of public access to the Internet beyond technical connection to a public network to include easy-to-use connections, affordable access, and useful information resources.

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