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E-inclusion or digital divide: an integrated model of digital inequality

Biyang Yu (School of Information, College of Communication and Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Ana Ndumu (School of Information, College of Communication and Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Lorri M. Mon (School of Information, College of Communication and Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Zhenjia Fan (Department of Information Resource Management, Nankai University, Tianjin, China)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 6 February 2018

Issue publication date: 27 March 2018

2816

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve understanding of the societal problem of the deepening digital divide by establishing and testing an integrated conceptual framework for digital divide research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors established the integrated conceptual framework after synthesizing the literature, and then tested the framework by conducting a secondary analysis of a 2014-2015 data set comprised of 398 survey responses and nine interviews with Chinese migrant workers.

Findings

The results showed that Chinese migrant workers were partially e-included in the digital society. However, they encountered material, cognitive, motivational, and social access limitations due to the lack of financial, material, educational, psychological, interpersonal, and cognitive resources, which caused them to experience a digital divide. Findings support the use of the integrative model as a potential analytical framework to understand and address digital inequalities.

Originality/value

This study first proposed an integrative framework to understand the measurements and causes of the digital divide and then empirically tested its feasibility.

Keywords

Citation

Yu, B., Ndumu, A., Mon, L.M. and Fan, Z. (2018), "E-inclusion or digital divide: an integrated model of digital inequality", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 74 No. 3, pp. 552-574. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-10-2017-0148

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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