Theorizing Digital Divides and Inequalities.


Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn W. Muschert, Theorizing Digital Divides and Inequalities, in  an Servaes, Toks Oyedemi (eds) Social Inequalities, Media and Communication: A Global perspective, 2016, Lexington Books

Inequalities that exist in the digital sphere are certainly entangled with inequalities present in the “social sphere”. The aim of this chapter is to sketch a concept of stratification and inequalities in the digital sphere, the goal of which is to clarify whether the digital divide simply extends traditional forms of inequality, or whether it also includes new forms, which might include counter-trends that alleviate traditional inequalities and/or which form new modalities of inequality. The discussion will proceed from a theoretical perspective using Max Weber’s theory of stratification, in order to clarify how social stratification in the digital age is reproduced online. The main idea is that inequalities in the digital sphere are based on features that, just as in the social sphere, go beyond the economic aspects of inequality.

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