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Modeling the second-level digital divide: A five-country study of social differences in Internet use


Büchi, M; Just, N; Latzer, M (2015). Modeling the second-level digital divide: A five-country study of social differences in Internet use. New Media & Society, 18(11):2703-2722.

Abstract

Based on representative surveys on Internet use, this article advances comparative research on the second-level digital divide by modeling Internet usage disparities for five countries with narrowing access gaps. Four core Internet usage types are constructed and predicted by sociodemographic variables in a structural model. Overall, the findings confirm the recently identified shift in the digital divide from access to usage in five further countries. Results show that sociodemographics alone account for up to half of the variance in usage in these high-penetration countries, with age being the strongest predictor. Measurement invariance tests indicate that a direct comparison is only valid between three of the five countries explored. Methodologically, this points to the indispensability of such tests for unbiased comparative research.

Abstract

Based on representative surveys on Internet use, this article advances comparative research on the second-level digital divide by modeling Internet usage disparities for five countries with narrowing access gaps. Four core Internet usage types are constructed and predicted by sociodemographic variables in a structural model. Overall, the findings confirm the recently identified shift in the digital divide from access to usage in five further countries. Results show that sociodemographics alone account for up to half of the variance in usage in these high-penetration countries, with age being the strongest predictor. Measurement invariance tests indicate that a direct comparison is only valid between three of the five countries explored. Methodologically, this points to the indispensability of such tests for unbiased comparative research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:9 September 2015
Deposited On:10 Sep 2015 09:17
Last Modified:27 Nov 2016 08:14
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1461-4448
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444815604154

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