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Publication date: 30 September 2020

Jen Schradie

Despite the pendulum swing from utopian to dystopian views of the Internet, the direction of the popular and academic literature continues to lean toward its liberatory…

Abstract

Despite the pendulum swing from utopian to dystopian views of the Internet, the direction of the popular and academic literature continues to lean toward its liberatory potential, particularly as a tool for redressing social inequality. At the same time, decades of digital inequality scholarship have shown persistent socioeconomic inequality in Internet access and use. Yet most of this research captures class by individualized income and education variables, rather than a power relational framework. By tracing research on how fear, control, and risk manifest itself with inequalities related to digital content, digital activism, and digital work, I argue that a narrow stratification approach may miss the full cause and effect of digital inequality. Instead, a class analysis based on power relations may contribute to a broader and more precise theoretical lens to understand the digital divide. As a result, technology can reinforce, or even exacerbate, existing patterns of social and economic inequality because of this power differential.

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Rethinking Class and Social Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-020-5

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Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

Jen Schradie

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…

Abstract

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.

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

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Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

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Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

Abstract

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

Abstract

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

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Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-629-3

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Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Barry Eidlin and Michael A. McCarthy

Social class has long existed in tension with other forms of social difference such as race, gender, and sexuality, both in academic and popular debate. While…

Abstract

Social class has long existed in tension with other forms of social difference such as race, gender, and sexuality, both in academic and popular debate. While Marxist-influenced class primacy perspectives gained prominence in US sociology in the 1970s, they faded from view by the 1990s, replaced by perspectives focusing on culture and institutions or on intersectional analyses of how multiple forms of social difference shape durable patterns of disempowerment and marginalization. More recently, class and capitalism have reasserted their place on the academic agenda, but continue to coexist uneasily with analyses of oppression and social difference. Here we discuss possibilities for bridging the gap between studies of class and other forms of social difference. We contend that these categories are best understood in relation to each other when situated in a larger system with its own endogenous dynamics and tendencies, namely capitalism. After providing an historical account of the fraught relationship between studies of class and other forms of social difference, we propose a theoretical model for integrating understandings of class and social difference using Wright et al.‘s concept of dynamic asymmetry. This shifts us away from discussions of which factors are most important in general toward concrete discussions of how these factors interact in particular cases and processes. We contend that class and other forms of social difference should not be studied primarily as traits embodied in individuals, but rather with respect to how these differences are organized in relation to each other within a framework shaped by the dynamics of capitalist development.

Details

Rethinking Class and Social Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-020-5

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Abstract

Details

Rethinking Class and Social Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-020-5

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