The Digital Divide

In spite of the potential for Internet access to democratize information, disparity continues to reign amid income levels, race, urbanization, and education level. Here are some findings according to Wendy Grossman in her 2001 book The Net Comes of Age:


Here are some quotes about the digital divide:

"Technology favors those who are already advantaged." (129 Grossman)

"While eduation is the great equalizer, technology appears to be a new engine of inequality." (129 Grossman)

" ... although the Internet could potentially help us to fulfill the same democratic dreams we have every time a new technology in invented, so far it is increasing existing disparities of income, race, and education." (129 Grossman)

"The gap is widenting, not narrowing." (129 Grossman)

Can you answer these questions?

    1. What is the digital divide?
    2. Where does the digital divide exist? (What countries? What continents?)
    3. Who is affected by this divide?
    4. What is the diference between the disadvantageous side of the digital divide and the advantageous side?
    5. How can you move from the disadvantageous side of the digital divide to the advantageous side?
    6. Has a digital divide developped based on gender?
    7. Has a digital divide developped based on disablitiy?
    8. Has a digital divide developped based on language?
    9. How does the digital divide support social and economic inequality?
    10. How can we close the gap or eliminate the digital divide?

      Check these links to find out more about this topic:

Wikipedia definition

Online News Hour

Moyers on America

National Telecommunciations and Information Administration

A Nation Online (see Access and Use)


You can also search online with your own keywords in Google, for example, "digital divide" or "Internet access" or "Internet education" or ...?

Write your answers in question-response format or in essay format (numbered). Use MLA guidelines.

(See also this World Wide Web MLA page.) (Here is the home site for MLA.)

Works Cited

Grossman, Wendy M. (2001). The Net Comes of Age. New York University Press. New York.