Should We Still Talk About a Digital Divide? Analytical Essay by Hans

A critical analysis of the digital divide concept and its applicability in today's society.
# 149900 | 3,049 words | 10 sources | APA | 2011 | GB
Published on Jan 11, 2012 in Sociology (General) , Computer and Technology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper provides an overview of the concept of the digital divide and explores to what extent the digital divide still exists within contemporary society. The paper considers the criticism of the digital divide concept and makes use of a number of case study examples including Singapore, India and Ireland. The paper reaches the conclusion that the phrase "digital divide" is an inappropriate one if only because it encourages the belief in a binary gap, where the reality is that of a sliding scale of access.

Defining the Digital Divide
Looking for the Digital Divide Today
Criticism of the Digital Divide Concept
The Digital Divide in Singapore Revisited

From the Paper:

"Unfortunately, the literature would seem to offer little congruence as to a singular definition on the subject of the digital divide. However, in general the concept may be one which seeks to explain and highlight the divide between those who have access to ICT technology and those who do not. Despite this common definition, the concept has both evolved over time and has emphasis placed upon different areas by different authorities. While early commentators in the Clinton era simply focused upon the availability of hardware (Selwyn, 2004) considering the divide between those who had access to computers and those who did not. Later approaches have included a whole host of wider considerations such as access to software, the internet and even broadband technology in the modern era (Compane, 2001). One key commentator in relation to the Singapore experience (Yun, 2001) defined the digital divide as "the gap between those who are internet savvy and those who are not" while this refers directly to the internet, a single element of the digital divide, the reference the word "savvy" implies that the digital divide is a social condition relating to the user and their ability to make use of technology as much as the availability of technology as a physical resource. As Castells (2011) indicates, the problem is not considering whether or not there is a divide in access to technology but that there way in which the problem is framed, for instance should the digital divide be considered against its historic backdrop or should the definition be updated to take into account contemporary developments."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Castells, M. 2011. Communication power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Compane, B. 2001. The digital divide. Boston: MIT Press.
  • Hargittai, E. 2002. Second level digital divide. Differences in peoples online skills. First Monday. Vol. 7. No. 4.
  • Ming, C, K, Gary, L, C, W, Noel, O, Y, W. 2011. Digital divide in Singapore. Available online at: [Accessed on 21/11/11].
  • Pant, A. 2011. Digital divide in Singapore - Beyond the ubiquitous internet access. Available online at: [Accessed on 21/11/11].

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Should We Still Talk About a Digital Divide? (2012, January 11) Retrieved January 24, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Should We Still Talk About a Digital Divide?" 11 January 2012. Web. 24 January. 2022. <>