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Diversification and Nuanced Inequities in Digital Media Use in the United States

Diversification and Nuanced Inequities in Digital Media Use in the United States
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Author(s): Eliane Rubinstein-Avila (University of Arizona, USA) and Aurora Sartori (University of Arizona, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 22
Source title: Digital Multimedia: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3822-6.ch058

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Abstract

This chapter explores access to, and engagement with, digital media by United States' (U.S.) by nonmainstream populations. Framing the issue from a sociotechnical standpoint, the authors explore how engagement with digital media is shaped by socioeconomic status (taking into account confounding factors, such as race and ethnicity, and social and geographical ecologies). The authors highlight studies that focus on the robust digital practices with which nonmainstream populations already engage, and to which they contribute. One example is how some black Twitter users engage in signifyin'–a culturally specific linguistic practice—as a means of performing racial identity online. The authors also problematize concepts such as the new digital divide and digital exclusion, and finally, reiterate that a universal roll-out of high speed broadband alone will not necessarily lead to further engagement with digital media for ALL populations. In fact, the authors claim that providing more or faster access is likely not enough to prevent the entrenchment of a global digital underclass.

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