Digital Divides, Digital Commons March 26, 2012 Week 12
Digital DivideThe discrepancy between people who have access to and the resources to use new information and communication tools, such as the Internet, and people who do not have the resources and access to the technology.AND ...The discrepancy between those who have the skills, knowledge and abilities to use the technologies and those who do not.
Dimensions of Social Exclusion• The processes and structures through which individuals and groups are detached from, and unable to fully participate in, the organizations and resources that make up society.• A combination of physical and ideological effects, linked to economic exclusion.• Disproportionate negative impacts on groups marginalized or disadvantaged (i.e., by gender, racialization, citizenship, class)
Digital Commons The creation, design and use of technologies for the purpose of open, shared and widespread use and circulation of technology. Associated with the ideal of democracy and accessibility.Examples (of expanding global commons):• Transnational networks (communities, social movements from below)• Non-corporate, open-source initiatives• Use of corporate technologies (Facebook, youtube)• Free communication devices (skype)• Expanding public sector access to technologies (e.g., public library systems)• Online media (al Jazeera, Democracy now)
Globalization from Above/BelowTechnology as neither inherently democratic nor inherently exclusionary.Factors that influence outcome (i.e., digital divide/digital commons balance):• Entrenched unequal power relations• Structural, historical inequalities• Unequal property ownership• Globalization hype (e.g., “global village”)