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Are we all knowledgeable now

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Presentation at ECREA 2016 conference.

Published in: Internet
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Are we all knowledgeable now

  1. 1. Mgr. Petr Lupač, Ph.D. Faculty of Arts, Charles University Department of Sociology Czech Republic petr.lupac@ff.cuni.cz @petrlupac
  2. 2. "as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments, so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease“ Tichenor, Donohue & Olien (1970, p. 159–160)
  3. 3.  Four levels of access = four levels of digital divide (van Dijk; 2005) ◦ Motivation ◦ Physical access / ownership ◦ (Digital) skills ◦ Usage Understood as differences - in time online - in performed online activities
  4. 4. Similar findings about unequal use from the USA, EU, Australia, South Korea, and Switzerland are interpreted with help of references to knowledge gap hypothesis (1970 article) (see Bonfadelli, 2002; Mason & Hacker, 2003; Robinson, DiMaggio & Hargittai, 2003; van Dijk, 1997; 2005; 2006; 2009; Nguyen & Western, 2007; Eynon, 2009; Jansen, 2010; Wei & Hindman, 2011; van Deursen & van Dijk 2014). Higher education Lower education Information activities Economic activities Entertainment activities
  5. 5.  Performs the online activity at least once a month (in %) Online activity Low education (a) Middle education (b) High education (c) EMAIL 96 97 100 SNS MESSAGE 39 45 46 HUMOUR 42 42 39 READ NEWS 86 87 94a TRAVEL INFO 43 55a 73ab COMPARE PRICES 41 56a 67ab E-BANKING 49 64a 77ab DEFINITIONS SEARCH 31 40a 62ab FACTCHECK 40 55a 83ab 15+ without students, n=915, z-tests, α = 0,05 with Bonferroni correction
  6. 6.  Knowledge gap ◦ differential absorption of knowledge from mass media ◦ Measure: knowledge of relevant (mostly scientific and political) information (c.f. Corley & Scheufele 2010)  Usage gap: ◦ “differential use of computer and Internet applications as a whole in (online - PL) activities” (Van Dijk, 2009, p. 299) ◦ Measure: using the Internet for particular online activities ◦ Proof: Van Dijk (2005; 2006; 2009); van Dijk & van Deursen (2014) Higher education Lower education More advanced applications More simple applications information, communication, work, business, education information, communication, shopping, entertainment
  7. 7.  Problem I: Is SES (=edu) the main explaining variable of online activity? ALL THE STUDIES WORK ONLY WITH FEW (SCDMG) VARIABLES ! The answer: the tradition of knowledge gap research I. SES => online activity SES => online activity => ΔSES II. online activity => ΔSES
  8. 8.  Wei & Hindman (2007) Bonfadelli (2002)
  9. 9.  Since the end of 70’s the contradicting findings about knowledge gap  Answer found in motivation (interest) as a variable moderating the effect of education ◦ This explains low k-g. when the information is controversial or has a local meaning (cf. Tichenor, Donohue & Olien ,1975 !!!) Prior (2005) – political behavior Mossberger, Tolbert & McNeal (2008) – reading news Shim (2008) – knowledge about cancer Bonfadelli (2002, p. 70)
  10. 10.  Problem II ◦ Situational relevance of activities (activity ≠ content) ◦ What is the content of communication activities? ◦ Individualistic approach x learning communities I. SES => online activity SES => online activity => ΔSES II. online activity => ΔSES
  11. 11.  Pilot study in May 2014  Data collected in May and June 2014 by a specialized agency  Method of data collection ◦ CAPI F2F interviews ◦ Stratified random sampling combined with quota sampling ◦ Measures taken to include parts of the population with lower probability of being interviewed  Respondents declaring no or very low interest in being interviewed pre-recruited from CAWI panel (cca 8 % of the sample)  Trained experienced interviewers instructed to deal with soft-rejection  Financial incentives (computed or estimated from wage)  100 % of the interviews were recorded, controlled and problematic respondents were excluded  1316 respondents in the final sample, 79 % Internet users  Weighted sample representative for the population of the Czech Republic, age 15+  A good fit of results with other data sources (WIP I, CZSO, Facebook)
  12. 12. Using the Internet can either improve or worsen people's lifes. When you think about your personal experience in the last years, how much influences your Internet use following areas of your life? Please, answer with the help of a scale, where -5 means significant worsening and +5 means significant improvement. [Scale:] -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 (-5=Significant worsening 0= no effect 5 = Significant improvement)
  13. 13.  My knowledge of what's going on in the Czech republic  My knowledge of what's going on in other countries k. index  My knowledge of what's going on in your locality  My involvement in public life in my local community  Dealing with state authorities {getting subsidy, welfare, submitting documents, etc.}  Contact with my family and my family life  Contact with my friends and acquiantences  My overall financial situation (i.e., my incomes and expenses)  Building up my career and my success on labour market  Pursuing and developing my hobbies  Overall satisfaction with my life
  14. 14.  The supposed role of variety/number of online activities and time spent online (van Dijk, 2005) ◦ -> hours online weekly, nr. of online non SNS activities performed weekly  “Social media use is expected to develop citizens’ knowledge” (Boulianne, 2015) ◦ -> SNS use intensity  The role of interest in obtaining knowledge (seen as an intensive information seeking activity) ◦ -> information online activities index, subjective importance of the Internet as a source of information  The important role of digital skills, age and education in gaining benefits from Internet use (van Deursen, van Dijk & Peters, 2011) ◦ -> operational skills index, informational skills index, age, education  The ability to adopt innovations as a measure of openness towards new information channels (Rogers, 2003) ◦ -> innovativeness index  Network size is positively correlated to higher probability of getting an information (Rogers, 2003) ◦ -> ntw size index (via resource generator, sum of strong and weak ties)  The role of bridging social capital in reaching richer information ◦ -> bridging = bonding * nr. of structural holes  The role of network capital in explaining individual state (Wellman & Frank, 1999) ◦ -> share of Internet users in respondent’s social environment
  15. 15. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Age -,020 -,012 -,018 -,001 Education ,106** -,012 ,010 ,001 SNS use intensity ,081* -,026 -,037 -,030 Time spent online ,037 ,013 ,004 OA variety – no SNS -,082 -,099 -,104 Operational skills ,134*** ,128** ,124** Informational skills ,246*** ,206* ,187*** OA info ,385*** ,366*** ,353*** Innovativeness -,009 -,032 Source of info – Internet ,202*** ,193*** Source of info – F2F ,065* ,072* Bridging social cpt. ,063* Network size ,022 Network capital ,085** Adj. R2 ,02 ,16 ,20 ,21
  16. 16.  Digital skills  Interest in information activities Experienced  Importance of the Internet knowledge as a source of information gain  Bridging & network capital
  17. 17.  Contextual measurement  Content of online communication research in relation to online activities  Path analysis or structural modeling  What is knowledge and how is it selected and appropriated in the new information environment?  How is the subjective truth constituted and maintained nowadays?  How is information consumption and processing differentiated?
  18. 18. Mgr. Petr Lupač, Ph.D. PETR.LUPAC@FF.CUNI.CZ @PetrLupac Department of Sociology Charles University, Faculty of Arts Celetna 13, Prague The Czech Republic

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