Thursday, April 30, 2009


Legacy was very connected to the three articles we read. In the video, we were presented with a family, who was clearly on the wrong side of the digital divide. They lacked many information resources, but more importantly, I don't feel like they would have known what to do with them had they had the physical access. This is where the grassroots organizations come into play. These are the organizations that are going to help bridge the digital divide because they work directly with the people in a smaller community setting. We could see in the video that certain processes like buying a house or getting a job were very difficult for the Collin's family. Through these smaller organizations however, I feel that these issues of skills access can be addressed. With the smaller organizations working with the people, they can clearly identify what the issue is in the community and how to change it. In addition, smaller organizations can talk with the people directly about what they want out of technology and what they can do with it. Often times, technology can seem too overwhelming to these people so they simply give up. If they understand how to use the technology, like for getting a job, they are more likely to continue to use it and learn more about how to access more information.

Legacy/ Bishop connection

The main point behind the Bishop article is that libraries need to partner with surrounding organizations and "local tailers" to more effectively serve their communities. As others on this blog have mentioned, the Legacy video is an excellent example of how important these grass roots organizations and individuals are in bridging the digital divide. What was the key to the Collin's family's escape from the projects? It was organizations like the drug rehabilitation program and the Catholic school, and individuals like Nicole's mentor that really made this family's accomplishments possible.

The Legacy video confirms the importance of and shows the unique role each local group plays in a community. A library can't do everything. There needs to be connections between libraries and organizations on all three "tiers" (Bishop 364).


I think that Legacy is connected to the three articles we read because it would have been helpful if there had been a community organizer that had gone around asking what people really needed and wanted. Also they all tended to get their information via word of mouth and people they trusted. It also would have been a good thing if the kids had had a program that would've taught them how to use the internet, etc. The adults would have benefitted from this too. However, because they don't really use the internet, there's not a whole lot to say about the government restrictions on internet use in libraries. Perhaps if there had been more government funding for a decent library, which the populations taxes certainly weren't going to pay for, they could have had more opportunity for usage in the first place. That's all I've got.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More video glory!!


Our Digital Divide Video

This is the link to the video! Enjoy all!

Legacy and Sandvig

     "Legacy" was a movie that focused on the basic survival of a family and overcoming adversity.  The Sandvig article focused on internet access and use among children.  The family in "Legacy" was definitely among the "have-nots" on the other side of the digital divide.  Buying a computer or having internet access and a decent bandwidth was the least of their concerns.         However, I think the family in "Legacy" would contradict the findings of the Sandvig article.  Sandvig suggested that children in the inner city mostly used the internet for gaming.  From "Legacy" I got the impression that Nicole did not have much access to computers or time to use them for gaming.  She worked in a community center where she may have had access to a computer, had a secondary job framing woodwork, school, and a tough family life.  I highly doubt that when she was using a computer she was "gaming".  She was highly focused on her studies and probably did not primarily use the computer for gaming or communicating with individuals as Sandvig's article set forth.  
         I found it interesting to take the movie and the article that are so different and try to find ways to compare and contrast their differences.  In this context Sanvig's emphasis on protecting children from pornographic material and researching what children did online was in my opinion a miniscule problem/study compared to the family within "Legacy".  I think it helps portray how bad being on the other side of the digital divide can be and how hard it can be to cross over in an extreme situation.  Even Nicole's mother attempted to amp up her computer skills but couldn't because of not having childcare.  Without a computer at home, it made it more of a struggle to improve her skills.  Daycare is a basic need and without covering the basic needs she couldn't even begin to think about her technological needs or uses.

The Legacy movie and the Bishop article

Legacy provided an excellent example of a family facing problems far more serious than lack of access to technologies. While better access may have helped them slightly in a few areas such as helping the mother seek employment, the grandmother to buy a house, and the daughter to finish school, the most serious chllanges faced by this family (Drug addiction, life in the projects and death) are issues far beyond the reach of technology. In the Bishop article, he states that underprivledged communities are able spread useful information to one another on a more grassroots levels through the use of community organizations such as churches and social groups when access to technology isn't readily available. In Legacy, the family was able to get the information and help they needed to overcome these issues plaugeing their family through their community, rather than through the internet. They found somone in the comminity to help get the sister into rehabilitaion, to help the grandmother get her new home, and to help the daughter get through school and into college.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Digital Divide- story of Muhammad Yunus with micro loan

Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, a Nobel Prize winner, created the most successful micro loan company in India.

News about him:

I would like to share a story about him.
One time, he saw a farmer doing very hard work to keep his farm in a good shape. The farmer has a wish, to get a computer, to check the weather so he can ensure his farm does not affect by bad weather and temperature.
The farmer went to Muhammad Yunus and asks for $100 loan for buying a computer. Muhammad Yunus gave him the loan and the farmer paid back $200 3 months later.

I think it is a good example to digital divide in poor area and they can get a lot out of the internet and some new technology.

Legacy – own a house

In the movie Legacy, grandma finally owns a house by saving money and loans.
Because of the bad economy, the housing market in America goes down to a relative low point in. I saw news about the rate of building new houses in America goes to a low point compare to past 17 years. It reminds me the story in Legacy that for some people it is so hard to own a house. And it is so valuable to actually own a house.
In the movie Legacy, grandma was very nervous to sign the contact for building the house and said “it was one of the best moments in my life.”
Today, under the financial crisis, those minorities might have more problems with living and more difficulties on getting a job. In the side of digital divide, less opportunities to approach internet might be a concern as well …!?

The Bridge Kit


The Bridge Kit video by: Jason Yarusso, Laura Szymanski, Coral Weigel, Nick White, Jake Sweitzer and Nick Wirsbinski

Monday, April 27, 2009

Legacy and Chatman

By inquiring more about Elfreda A. Chatman, of the School of Information and Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; I discovered that social capital within black communities maybe permanently restricted because of cultural mistrust. During lecture, someone remarked how computer use was virtually nonexistent during the showing of the movie, Legacy. Does mistrust of white society translate into apathy or disrespect towards technology?

As Bishop et al wrote in Public Libraries and Networked Information Services, more library workstations, more neighborhood network connections, and personal posessions of computers must be accompanied by training. Only when familiarity with technology becomes equally transparent to all actors can America hope to survive in the global economy. As of 2009, Americans home computer use ranks 12th among industrial nations (just above a banana republic).

My initial thought was to find blame with government actors for not encouraging the use of computers for job search, housing, and education. Social service actors or educators did not suggest the advantage of utilizing Internet resources for personal and community growth to their clients. For instance, according to Google, in 2009, the Internet has over 1 trillion websites. A number of these websites most likely have dedicated topics that are of interest to the immediate concerns of the Legacy family. But not even the realtor encouaged her to use the internet for home purchases before she brought a home three years later.

After studying the reading ‘Understanding Digital Inequality’, I partially assumed that the stereotyped image, which presumes technology is too complicated for blacks, was the reason for the digital divide. Just maybe, officials did not feel professionally, socially or morally obligated to help bridge the racial ravine. This stereotypical fallacy made it easy for bureaucrats not to share practical and technical uses of the Internet. Then who is responsible for teaching how the Internet helps the population of low-income wage earners and struggling students stay abreast of on-line health care, on-line study groups, and news groups about parenting. Understanding Digital Inequality confirms a previous class reading. It provided statistics revealing how the small percentage of blacks who use the Internet use it for frivolous entertainment and religious propaganda. This theory of planned behavior (TPB) proves that without direct ICT experience of software and internet resources, poor individuals will not fully interact with information technology.

This theory challenges Internet activists who prove with this reading, and with the review of the Legacy movie, that bureaucratic actors ignore computer training opportunities to help motivate participants. Alas, the writers concur, government authorities should be the catalyst for initiating innovative ICT behavior. None of the organizations in the documentary had a systematic approach of entering the world of service workers (i.e. janitors), single mothers, and aging populations to increase computer capabilities among SED members.

Yes, Chatman is correct about the inclusiveness of underpaid, overworked, and underemployed community members. But I believe that self-efficacy is weakened from past and current disappointments with government entities. While illegal immigrants do not use the library for fear of government surveillance, American blacks have the same inhibitions about non-governmental agencies and government agencies sharing of private information. The secrecy and deception of government continues in the 21st century about 19th century entitlements. Only other race lied and cheated to is Native Americans. They and Japanese Americans have experienced first hand the nefarious intentions of U.S. government policies. The Supreme Court is again trying to weaken Civil War won laws about equal employment, fair housing, and quality education. Will this same court also conclude that the digital divide is a figment of a liberal’s imagination of deep-rooted barriers to information for the poor?

The reclusive blacks that voluntarily segregate themselves from the dominant society on the Internet is due to the institutionally accepted shameful hindrance of their racial identity and the psychological disabilities associated with SED. Their hedonistic use of the Internet is because software game manufacturers are committed to the profits from consumer satisfaction. Marketing and advertisements readily accompany on-line support and continued product upgrades. Unfortunately, government does not apply these materialistic values to teaching an informed citizenry about democratic opportunities available from the World Wide Web. And as we have learned about bridging social capital, the impoverished underprivileged will continue to live in a Tocqueville cocoon until they choose, with government guidance, to cross racial and class divisions by using the Internet.

In conclusion, I believe the heritable phenotypes of blacks could have been supplemented with an ethnic Internet environment incorporated from clothing styles, types of music, literature, and religion. The information world of poor people requires civic engagement and political participation in the 21st century. Legacy is empirical example of a culture that will die, unless it’s people have the courage to change.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Legacy and Bishop

From what I gathered from the class discussion on Bishop's article, the people in Legacy clearly did not need information technologies in order to succeed and "escape" from the projects. I do think it would have helped accelerate things, as we talked about in class, but the information was out there, just a little harder to find. As Bishops article said, communities are able to disperse vital information in various ways, including through the church or just by word of mouth. The main benefits of IT access would be more information at an accelerated rate. In the situation that the family from Legacy was in it might have been helpful to find a local library they could take advantage of for resources, but they were sort of tunnel vision focused on their bigger struggles to utilize that sort of access.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries by P. Jaeger, J. Bertot, C. McClure, L. Lanaga

The Policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries
by P. Jaeger, J. Bertot, C. McClure, L. Lanaga
There are many reasons why libraries lack Internet access. What we have learned is that rural and urban America lack the equipment, software resources, and conduit to fully access the Internet.
Unfortunately, the same government officials who deny avenues of democracy to lower socio-economic classes are also promoting the perpetuation of the information ravine among farmers, field workers, service workers, small towns and urban villages. While visiting a friend in a small town in northern Wisconsin, my friend commented on how it was too expensive to wire the whole town, so only the library has broadband Internet access. Because of the libraries limited hours of operation, I had only a small window of time to visit the libraries reduced weekend hours. Once I had the password and logged on, I thought something was wrong with my laptop because of slow kbps speed. Between the libraries two hours of being open and my slow connection speed, I did not complete my research.
I had forgotten what a drag a slow connection does to personal inspiration and dedication to find online information. This is just one aspect of Jaeger’s article that details how reduced federal, state, and private donations limit Internet access to urban and rural America. Tremendous progress was originally made though federal grants, e-rate discounts and public /private support. But alas, the s-curve of access to television, telephone, and radio does not apply to internet accessibility for rural and urban America.
Four positions of denial are exhibited by these reductions. Federal authorities issued reports that denied that a digital divide existed, accepted the digital divide as typical in a capitalist society, spread the belief that inequalities between Internet users will be corrected by Moore’s law. Conservatives release dogma that believes the differentiation in the digital divide is shrinking because ICT is smaller, cheaper, faster, and better.
This diffusion theory did not work with either telegraph and telephone, or television. Besides, a television is a one-time purchase that will continue to receive the same electronic station signals for the life of the equipment. A computer changes software and hard drives every six months. For instance, access to new multi-media software for educational materials cannot be accomplished on older computers. Thus, poor actors are denied the latest information distributed with upgraded multi-media presentations. Most low-income actors cannot afford to update accessible resources every six months. The study findings readily concluded that libraries provide Internet connectivity for most Americans. Yet, as concluded in the reading, libraries lack the financial resources necessary for full digital access. Progressive educators blame reduced federal and private funding for broadband speed, workstations, and technical equipment for economic, racial, and education stratification.
These public policies increase the digital divide when combined with a lack of individual skills. Instrumental skills, informational skills and strategic skills provided by on site trainers help to encourage user participations for a technology that improves with change every 6 months. While digital inclusion counts everyone on line, it does not recognize the social stratification in technological accessibility. Economic imperialism under lassize faire capitalism traditionally limits information access to the underemployed and underpaid lower classes.
The funnel of causality, between age and gender, income and education, white collar, pink collar, and blue-collar workers are variables that help to deny resources to every American. As a result, American has unintentionally created a permanent underclass. Equal access to quality education, healthcare, and family wage jobs Some of these differences disappear, when a trainer is available for technical advice and informational guidance. Moreover, bandwidth connectivity also helps to define access to information in a democracy. If libraries are limited by geography and connectivity levels; if libraries are limited by the number of access workstations for clients; and if libraries have to police information, then they are not the place of universal access that e-government is trying to create under a Jeffersonian democracy of information access.
Federal and state governments are trying to encourage e-government interaction. But when urban residents have to wait in line and allowed only a few minutes of usage; and when rural residents have antiquated connection speeds and few workstations; all clients, rural and urban, have inadequate access to public information and Internet services. E-Government is expected to use library computers as voting booths. If Federal Elections Commission had regrets from counting Florida’s paper electoral votes, wait until you see the media circus from using computers to record vote.
The U.S. Patriot Act and the Children’s Internet Protection Act is nothing more then a bureaucratic cloak for ‘thought police’. Public library Internet services are restricted by outdated unreliable filters, according to Jaegar etc. These filters deny 26 percent of health related questions because the word ‘breast’ is in the request. How about not being able to access information about Star Trek, because the filter found a reference to Capt. Kirk being sexy looking. Or how about not being able to access Sponge Bob website because the word sponge is related to birth control. I have a list of 50 words that when used in a library computer browser, will deny you access to that site and record your name, date and time of search request. Can you find more?
Libraries are more then a ‘document delivery institution’; but government bureaucracy forces libraries to comply with government restrictions concerning questionable documents. These same restrictions force librarians to act as book police and to send Homeland Security the name and address of questionable patrons. This surveillance will impact the number of library Internet users. Government surveillance of underpaid overworked library patrons should not take place in a democracy. Statistics show upper and middle-income computer users, access the Internet at home and at work without government intervention. Triangulated research methodologies has proven that inequalities between rich and poor will continue to exist when government spends money on monitoring library computers; instead of using reduced public funds to spy on Americans, government should use funds to increase the power of citizens with computer upgrades, technical support, and number of workstations.
Without additional funding, libraries are destined to being excluded from the information revolution. Undereserved populations, who exclusively use this public service, will be critically absent from being part of the information society. Members of urban and rural communities will be unable to access online content, communicate with family and community members, and interact within a wide range of network-based services and government resources.

Other resources:

Suppression of Speech by the U.S. Government
by Lynn Sutton, Ass. Dean, Wayne State University

High court leans toward allowing library Net filtering
by Tony Mauro of First Amendment Center

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Legacy and Jaeger

After watching the movie Legacy and reading the Jaeger study, one thing jumped out at me. In the Jaeger article it states, "government attention has shifted from the digital divide to a focus on digital inclusions." This shift is from getting people online to "viewing current levels of access as an accomplishment". This move by the government is disturbing. We talked in class and discussion how the digital divide still exists today. But now, in class, we seen a real example of it. Nicole's family was deeply on the other side of the digital divide. They were hanging on by a thread and were in no way thinking about computers and the Internet. The government seems to have declared the digital divide all but over since its focus is now shifted to access as an accomplishment and not pursuing more users. This directly affects the programs and money which will be allocated by the government to the public. They will not be spending it on helping people, like Nicole's family, get on the right side of the digital divide. It will in fact, push them farther off into the distance. Now the argument comes up, would having a computer and Internet helped? I would have to say yes. Nicole's mom would have been able to show she is able to use technology (especially when majority of jobs use them today), maybe Wanda would have found more support (or sooner) for her drug addiction. It seemed all she need was a family that knew her situation. We Americans are proud of what we accomplished, seems the Government wants to do that same, and dismiss that we still have a prevalent problem.

Monday, April 20, 2009


In Legacy a central access barrier is material access since government-housing residents are unable to afford computers or internet access at home. The Electronic Discovery Center in the Sandvig article allows children to have increased exposure to computers and internet. As the article mentions, however, many taxpayers are not willing to fund such establishments because they facilitate play and not learning. But in a neighborhood like that of Legacy, play is productive relative to the alternatives such as drugs, fights and prostitution, which are commonplace there. It is also misleading to say that such facilities encourage play and not learning because the two cannot be separated. I personally have very good typing skills from many years of instant messaging and playing learn-to-type games, which I miss dearly. Sandvig’s article suggests that children do not actively seek obscene websites and can circumvent restrictions on such sites anyway if laws are enacted to prevent such exposure. In Legacy murder, sex, and drugs are common in the neighborhood and therefore internet protection seems like a secondary concern. If the government wants to protect children, it should focus first on solving crime in low-income neighborhoods. It seems the children in Legacy could benefit from a third place like the EDC, and that an EDC would deter them from harmful activities and create a “playful approach to learning” that they may not find at school.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reason of not updating computer- Endless Cycle

From the reading “The policy Implications of Internet Connectivity in Public Libraries” by P.T. Jaeger et al, it mentions that 13% of public libraries reported budget decreases, and 96.4% of public libraries have no set upgrade schedule internet access.
And then authors wrote some reasons of limiting upgrading: endless upgrade cycle, technological support and maintenance cost, and building & space limitations.

I thought the “endless upgrade cycle” is interesting and wroth for some discussion. Microsoft upgrades its operation system every 2~3 years and there are LOTs of new programs and software coming up. If I were a manager of a library, I wouldn’t know what to upgrade, because even if I upgrade computer now I will have to do it again very soon.
Right now in the libraries in the University they have pretty up-to-date programs like FireFox and Word2007, however, some local libraries might be still using Windows and word2003. I think it is just hard to judge if the libraries should spend the money now or wait for 1 more year when the newest programs come out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Digital Divide and e-Government Usage

I came across an article about the digital divide and its demographic correlation to e-Government use and found that people that are young, high income earners, educated, and people that already use the internet for other things are most likely to engage in e-Government use.  Surprisingly, ethnicity or computer experience were not predictors of e-Government usage. 
     I thought this article was interesting because it referenced the Pew Report that we have recently studied. It also provided insight to government agencies that encourage people to use e-Government websites inside of  other forms of communication, that they also need to make an attempt to close the digital divide.

below is a link to the article if anyone wants to check it out...

Monday, April 6, 2009


How does warschauer define access?
Warschauer defines access as devices, conduits and literacy. To use the example of the computer, ownership of the computer itself would be the device, the conduit would be an internet connection, as it facilitates use of the computer, and literacy, the technical ability to use the computer.
THe three industrial revolutions were
1. The first revolution came after the invention of the steam engine in the 1700's. DUring this 1st revolution were common hand tools were repalced by mechanical devices.
2. The second revolution was in the 1800's and marked the onset of factories ans massed produced goods and is tied to the use of electricty by humans. Many new jobs in factories and production lines.
3. The 3rdrevolution has occured in the late 1900's and is charicterized by the spread of information via use of computers and other media formats.
any new jobs in the information field

Remaining notes to study

Pew Internet Report:

This report found that African Americans and Hispanics are farther behind with regards to penetration, broadband use, and frequency of internet use. Minorities in general are willing to spend money on information goods and services, but purchase old media.

Robbins Lecture:

Ruth Brown, a librarian in Bartlesville, was falsely accused of being a communist because she provided resources to African Americans (1930s).

Emily Reed nearly lost her job because of that book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit (1959).

Also know the following terms: CORE, the US Patriot Act, Paul McCarthy, WPA

Review - Dijk's deffinition of Access/ Digital Skills

van Dijk, J. and Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Information Society, 19:315-326.

  • How does van Dijk define access?
He claims that access has four parts:
Mental access - being interested in accessing the internet, not being anxious around the technology, finding it attractive (useful?)
Material access - the one focused on most commonly, having access to a computer and internet connection, the OLPC project would be a good example of repairing a deficit of this type
Skills access - having the knowledge and support to be able to actually use the internet
Usage access - having the opportunity to use the internet

  • What are the different types of digital skills?
He claims there are three types of digital skills
1. Instrumental - being able to use the computer and web browser
2. Informational - knowing how to search for the information you need
3. Strategic - being able to implement the information you receive to improve your society or living conditions

Themes of the Movies (exam 2 review)

Bridging the Digital Divide in the Spanish Speaking Community: This movie was put out by the Colorado library system. It was aimed at librarians trying to help them reach out to Spanish Speakers. It talked about having things, including books and signs, in Spanish as well as having staff members who are bilingual. It mentioned that the librarians should approach these patrons instead of assuming the patrons would come to them and should include small talk in their conversation not just business because conversation is important to this community. Also there needs to be areas where families can come and be together. There was also mention of transportation issues. They stressed the importance of both explaining how our library system works and being flexible in the requirements of identification for getting a library card since many immigrants would not have things like a driver's license.
Crossing the Divide: This was the film shown in discussion section about the four teenagers and new tech high. It mentioned how although technology is useful and maybe critical to advancement in the world it does not replace a bad curriculum and needs to be integrated into the curriculum not just present in the classroom. Also one point of interest was Luisa who had some technology but eventually "failed" due to her need to work too much during high school.
Afro@Digital: This was the movie that talked about how there are "two Africas" in that there are plenty of middle class people and areas in addition to the stark poverty that we are used to thinking of. These people can profit from additional technology and need to have connectivity. It also mentioned how the African's need to begin producing things for the new technology they are getting. Also there was that bit about the stick with the math on it and how it is possible that Africans developed some math before the rest of the World and were once at the top of the curve technologically and only later fell behind.
Legacy: This was the movie about the girl whose mother was stuck on welfare and whose cousin got killed before he had the chance to make it out of that bad neighborhood. Now all the pressure is on her to break the cycle of welfare. She does have a good role model in her boss, he is a father figure of the type her mother never had. She is going to private school on scholarships. We only saw the first part of this video.

What factors does Compaine suggest increase the adoption of computer and internet use?

On page 321 Compaine gives a list of factors that he thinks increase the adoption of computer and internet use including: rapidly declining costs and increasing power of the hardware, improving ease of use, increasing availability of points of presence (POPs) for local internet service providers, decreasing cost of internet access, and network externalities associated with email and chat.

How does Compaine describe access in this article?

Campaine describes access in terms of consumer capital cost, which includes equipment and its upkeep, and operating costs, with would be, for example, a subscription or connection fee.

Review-Define and understand Informationalism

Informationalism-is in the 3rd Industrial Revolution and it is an informational economy in which computers and the internet are the major components.  There are 4 characteristics of informationalism:1) the driving role of science and technology for economic growth
2) the shift from material production to informational processing
3)the emergence/expansion of new forms of networked industrial     organizations
4)the rise of socioeconomic growth

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Review: categories of workers

Warschauer redefines the old blue- and white-collar work categories as routine production workers (data processors, payroll clerks and factory workers), in-person service workers (janitors, hospital attendants, taxi drivers), and symbolic analysts (software engineers, management consultants, strategic planners). Although workers in all of these categories may use computers, the routine production workers and in-person service workers use computers for routine tasks, not analytically like symbolic analysts who deal more with interpretation and development of data and products. These categories do not divide workers strictly on manual labor verses desk job lines, but instead focus on the amount of skill and depth of technological experience the worker has.

exam 2 review

Week 8, Part 2:
how does van Dijk define access? 4 types: mental, material, skills,usage pg 315
what are the different types of digital skills? instrumental, informational, strategic pg 319

Week Ten: March 31 & April 2 - Addressing the digital divide

Chapters 1 & 6 and select one of the following chapters: 2, 3, 4, or 5 from Wilson, J. W., & Taub, R. P. (2006). There goes the neighborhood :racial, ethnic, and class tensions in four Chicago neighborhoods and their meaning for America. New York: Knopf, 2006.

> What are some solutions/implications suggested by the authors in Chapter 6?

Chapter 6 implies in the opening section: "[neighborhoods] are likely to remain divided racially and culturally" which obviously can have potentially terribly terrible consequences for race dynamics accross ameria.

"The more individuals within groups perceive and highlight these differences, the less likely they are to welcome others or feel comfortable" pg 168; So i guess one way to not have racial hate is to build common ground and try to relate to the nice new black family moving in across the street. The reading also talked about the importance of community loyalty and voice. If something that the residents dont really like is occuring then they should speak up about it if they hope to hold back the change.

Oh hey has anyone actually done any of those online assignments? b.c. Ive never even recieved an email notification about the last two...

Review James vs. Compaine

Digital Divide complacency: Misconceptions and Dangers (week nine)

James's theory on the digital divide follows the Stratefacation theory. This means that not all people will have access in the future and the digital divide will not go away by itself. He believes that the richer people (people on the right side of the digital divide) are always going to have the edge over people who are pooer. He compares the internet users in two categories: the developed vs the developing countries and shows that the developing countries are getting more access, however they still don't have as much access as the developed countries, since they are also growing in internet use. The digital divide there still exists and from the graph looks like it will probably stay that way. James also points out the literacy issues that go along with the digital divide. A lot of technologies, such as phones, radios and televisions do not require literacy skills. Technologies like the internet require not only high literacy skills but also computer literacy and technical competence. (pages 56-57)

Compaine's argument is for the normalization theory, meaning that the digital divide is fixing itself and the gap between the haves and have-nots is closing. He argues that even as technology is improving, the cost is going down, allowing more and more people to have access. In addition, it is easier to get access to technologies at libraries or other ITC locations. He also argues that the rates of adoption of new technologies are higher for poorer people, indicating that the gap is already closing. Finally, he says that the internet and other technologies are gettin easier to use, especially with the invention of "point and click" technology. Now people don't need to learn complicated codes just to check their e-mails.

Movie questions

Hey-- So I missed a couple lectures and I didn't get to see movies shown in class. If somebody could go over the themes of those movies I would really appreciate it. Thank you!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Norris, P. (2001). “Understanding the digital divide” and “Social inequalities” in Pippa Norris, Digital divide: Civic engagement, information poverty, and the Internet worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (26-38), (68-92).

Understand the difference between stratification and normalization as it relates to technological diffusion.

-Normalization: those who adopt it in the early stages will be ahead of the curve, with the resources, skills, and knowledge to take advantage of digital technologies, but in the long-run, everybody will all even out. The demand will slow once a high proportion of households have access. Once demand slows, prices will drop, allowing for the laggards to catch up.
-Stratificiation: the groups already well networked will maintain their edge in the digital economy.

What are the characteristics of people who are more likely to be online?
-Individuals with high socioeconomic status, education, literacy, and social status. High income (to afford personal computers), professional and managerial jobs in the service sector, college graduates, males are more likely than females, young rather than the elderly.


van Dijk, J. and Hacker, K. (2003). The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Information Society, 19:315-326.

How does van Dijk define access?
o Mental access- having interest, lack of anxiety, experience
o Material access- possession of computers and network connections
o Digital access- user-friendliness, education, support
o Usage opportunities- opportunities for use

What are the different types of digital skills?
o Instrumental—the ability to operate hardware and software
o Informational—skill of searching information using digital hardware and software
o Strategic—using information for one’s own purpose and position.

Review- Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty

To put it simply:

Exit- When people leave a community because different ethnic groups than their own are moving in, or because they fear this will happen. They do this for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the neighborhood is just a stepping stone to a better one and sometimes it's because they fear a higher crime rate or declining property values.

Voice- When a neighborhood speaks their opinions on different ethnic groups moving in. This can be either good or bad. Sometimes it's good when the people are being accepting or they want to understand the other group. Usually it's not such a great thing because people are speaking out against the other group (not extremely overtly) or rallying everyone to "stay strong" and what not and they're busy being "the last stand" or whatever. It can also be people refusing to accommodate other ethnic groups in business, religion, or education.

Loyalty- How likely the people are to leave the neighborhood. If they have a lot of loyalty they won't. If they don't have a lot of loyalty, they will. However, this can lend itself to loyalty to the old neighborhood when it's changing, which can be counterproductive and will make integration that much harder.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Review - industrial revolutions

According to Warschauer (chapter 1) on page 12, three industrial revolutions have occurred.
1: 1700's, followed the invention of the steam engine. This is characterized by the replacement of hand tools by machines.
2: 1800's, followed humans ability to control electricity. By doing so, goods were produced on a large-scale production.
3: 1970's, the development of the transistor, personal computer and telecommunications. This lead to a information economy (NOT a Internet economy). In this information economy, computers and Internet play an essential role.