Sunday, May 3, 2009

Understanding digital inequality: Comparing continued use behavioral models of the socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged

Your assignment, in preparation for our final, is to thoroughly discuss the remaining articles via our blog. Our collaboration will make the entire review a lot more productive for everyone.

Keep the following tasks in mind as you're blogging the article:

1.)Provide a summary
2.)Define key terms
3.)Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
4.)Compare your article to our past readings
5.)Read the other groups’ blog posts and comparing it to your article
6.)Relate your article to the larger themes from the class

Feel free to comment on any other group's blog discussions as well. You should be reading them anyway, and providing extra commentary will help us all.

In addition, we'll be distributing a study guide later. Please use this same blog space to discuss that guide.



    This article looked at free internet access in the homes of citizens in the city of LaGrange, Georgia and studied the factors of continued use once the access was granted. The main issue was once access is obtained, what factors contribute and admonish to use of socioeconomic advantaged citizens vs. socioeconomic disadvantaged citizens. The authors tested the Theory of Planned Behavior, which says that attitude, subject norms, and perceived behavioral control will influence the individuals behavioral intention, leading their continued or non-continued use. Through their research it was found that:
    -attitude was a bigger factor than subject norms in terms of prolonged use.
    -Hedonic outcomes were more influential for the disadvantaged than the advantaged.
    -Personal network exposure was more influential for the advantaged than the disadvantaged.
    -Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, and availability were more critical in determining continuance intention for the disadvantaged than the advantaged.
    -Even when technology is made available, disadvantaged individuals still need to deal with psychological and material barriers that are not addressed directly by technology-centered interventions.

    This article really looked past the initial step of providing citizens with access, and showed that social network and personal network exposure need to be focused on in order for people to continue using such technology.

  2. The article explains research that was done in La Grange, Georgia. The author was trying to answer the question: What causes someone to stop their use of ICTs? The author created a chart that tries to break done reason to continue to use ICTs, and which reasons are more predominant for advantaged (people who are better off socially or financially) or disadvantaged people. Attitude (how interest someone is learning and using the ICT) is an important factor in ICT use for both groups. The author than describes two factors that affect attitude:
    Utilitarian Outcomes-how much someone's learns and improves their skills by using the ICT, important for both groups
    Hedonic Outcomes-how much pleasure someone gets from using the ICT, important for disadvantaged group
    The influence of subjective norms (what someone thinks of an ICT based on what others have said about it) on ICT use was not important for either group. Relatives and friends were more influential that the government but still had little to do with the continued use of ICTs.
    A third factor to ICT use which was more important for the disadvantaged group was Perceived Behavioral Control (how much people think it will cost to use the ICT). Which makes sense because the disadvantaged groups should be more concerned about costs. There were three factors that influenced the Perceived Behavioral Control. Perceived ease of use was a significant factor for both groups. Availability and self-efficacy (how good someone thinks they are at using the ICT) were both more influential to the disadvantaged groups.
    PC ownership and personal exposure were also look at, and they seem to influence the advantaged group more. There are a couple of problems with the study. One is that the study was just in LaGrange, Georgia. Advantaged and disadvantaged groups in this city may not represent groups in other places. Another problem is that all the factors involved make it very complicated to try to figure out what is causing people to use ICTs. There is some overlap between factors. For example, perceived ease of use and attitude have some similarities. Personal network exposure and family and friends influence also have something to do with each other. It is hard to try to separated out all the reasons without having some sort of overlap.
    This article relates to Legacy were disadvantaged groups like the family in Legacy have their own problems and factors that might stop them from getting information.

  3. • Provide a summary
    In Hsieh’s article, the authors start with the question that Is the governmental emphasis on technology access in order to eradicate digital inequality effective. The research was done in La Grange, Georgia, in the context of La Grange Internet TV initiative, which is service that residents of LaGrange can access Internet through TV without extra payment. Researchers divided group into two: socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged.

    • Define key terms
    Digital inequality – Differences, which can be observed among people in terms of using technological advancement
    Income and education – two critical factors that differ levels digital inequality
    Technology access – government initiatives emphasizes on physical access, such as owning computer
    Subjective norms
    Planned behavior

    • Analyze potentially weak points in the author’s argument
    In my opinion, the investigation location was limited, which is hard to generalize whole population with those outcomes.

    • Compare your article to our past readings
    The article of Bishop “Public libraries and networked information services in low-income communities,” the writer stresses people’s interest, which directly related to their living rather than internet access or digital advancement, and I think this article and Hsieh’s article show same concerns of managing digital divide, which can be followed after grasping the real need and factors that contributes internet access in specific area.

    • Relate your article to the larger themes from the class
    The article focuses on few different factors that can make people’s choice differ and compared two different groups in one area. It is directly related to our class’s theme, the digital divide in this time. Digital divide is not a simple phenomenon that can be defined with one factors, but rather complex because of its correlation with demographic varieties. Because of this reason, the active participation from many different sectors are necessary in order to weaken digital divide, This article clearly demonstrates those problems and suggest new approaches.


    User Acceptance-individuals' continuance usage intention of the technology

    personal network exposure-represents the cumulative proportion of adopters in one's personal network

    perceived critical mass-represents a related construct, which refers to the degree to which a person believes that most of his or her peers are using a particular innovation.

    digital inequality-differences between people in terms of using and addapting to technological advancement