Authors: Dr Qin Guo, Ms Peng Liu
Abstract: Digital divide is a global issue in the information era concerning researchers, practitioners, and policy makers around the world. While vast research has been carried out in various disciplines, many of the discourses pinpointed to the disparities of material accessibility to internet. Psychological and cultural disparities attracted relatively less attention. This study explored the issue with a multidimensional approach. It researched the interplay of digital divide and gaps of age, education, and economic status through the analysis of the development of internet in China and the case study of media usage in Jintang, an economically less developed township in Guangdong, China. The study observed that digital divide was an inherent part of the network society and recommended a comprehensive and user responsive approach to mitigate the disparities in the process of digitalization. Research data was drawn from questionnaire survey, interviews, and secondary dada analysis.
Keywords: digital divide; internet; network society, China