Second Thoughts: Toward a Critique of the Digital Divide
Gunkel, David J.
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This article introduces critical perspective into the discussion of the digital divide, which is commonly defined as the gap separating those individuals who have access to new forms of information technology from those who do not. The analysis is distinguished from other undertakings addressing this matter, insofar as it does not document the empirical problems of unequal access but considers the terminology, logical structure, and form that define and direct work on this important social and ethical issue. The investigation employs the tools of critical theory and targets extant texts, reports, and studies. In this way, the analysis does not dispute the basic facts gathered in recent empirical studies of computer usage and internet access. On the contrary, its purpose is to assist these and other endeavors by making evident their common starting point, stakes, and consequences.