How does gender equity fare in the digital public sphere(s)? To understand the mechanism of the gender gap, this study analyzes the interaction of gender with class, age, and parenthood. With American national survey data, this research compares different types of online content production practices in this blurred digital public sphere(s). Findings show differences between men and women in five of six digital content creation activities. Women are more likely to consume online content; men are more likely to produce it. From more public blogging to more private chatting, inequality persists. Interactions with gender show (1) women from higher educational levels face more inequality compared to their male counterparts than do women from lower educational levels; (2) age is not a factor in the gender gap; and (3) generally, parental status fails to explain the production divide. Understanding the gender gap and its mechanisms can help ameliorate inequalities. Some argue that the Internet is a more egalitarian public platform for women while others find gender inequality. But neither body of research has attended to the blurring of the public and private spheres on the Internet.
This paper received support from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Berkeley Center for New Media, the ANR – Labex IAST, and research grants from the Sociology Department at the University of California-Berkeley. Additional guidance provided by Claude Fischer, Mike Hout, Jennifer Carlson, and the UC Berkeley Gender Workshop, but the author is solely accountable for any omissions or errors.
Schradie, J. (2015), "The Gendered Digital Production Gap: Inequalities of Affluence", Communication and Information Technologies Annual (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 185-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2050-206020150000009008
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