This article compares consumption differences between population groups in the fields of the traditional and new information and entertainment. The interest is to estimate to what extent traditional information and entertainment expenditure and expenditure on the new information technology display similar structural characteristics.
The data used is the Finnish Expenditure Survey data from 1998 (N=4359) and 2001‐2002 (N=5495) provided by the Statistics Finland. The information and entertainment consumption is studied by using purchasing costs of books and magazines, television license and pay channel costs, video rentals, and operating costs of phone and internet services. The differences by population groups are analysed according to the respondent's level of education and income, type of household, respondent's age and gender, and place of residence.
The findings indicate that the differences concerning books and magazines and especially phone and internet services have increased in the 21st century.
The conclusions presented in this article are connected with circumstances during and after the product consolidation in Finland. In this regard it should be stated that the empirical analysis was restricted to the use of variables including different operating costs and to a short time frame in one European country.
The findings indicate that consumption disparities display the same structural characteristics in the realms of both traditional information technology (books and magazines) and new information technology (phone and internet services). Despite the fact that new technology is apparently available to everyone, growing disparities are displayed by both education and income.
This paper compares the traditional and digital divides in Finland to display the structural similarities and differences.
Rasanen, P. (2006), "Consumption disparities in information society: Comparing the traditional and digital divides in Finland", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 26 No. 1/2, pp. 48-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330610644425Download as .RIS
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