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Governing Digital Divides: Power Structures and ICT Strategies in a Global Perspective

Governing Digital Divides: Power Structures and ICT Strategies in a Global Perspective
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Author(s): Francesco Amoretti (University of Salerno, Italy) and Fortunato Musella (University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 16
Source title: Digital Literacy: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1852-7.ch065

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Abstract

A great part of the rhetoric accompanying the rapid diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Western societies in recent decades has put the spotlight on their potential for generating economic growth and development in the socio-political arena. Yet mechanisms that generate disparities among citizens do not go away with the advent of electronic citizenship, as asymmetric access to economic and political resources limit access to new technologies. This contribution will be divided in three sections. In the first part, the concept of “digital divide” will be analysed by considering its first formulation in the US political debate during the Nineties, as well as the more recent efforts to consider the multidimensional nature of such category. In the second section significant quantitative measure of digital disparities between countries will be provided. Finally, it will show how developing countries adopting proprietary softwares are becoming dependent on the power of providers of ICT goods and services, which are mainly concentrated in the United States.

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