Reconceptualizing digital social inequality

Susan Halford, Mike Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This paper discusses conceptual tools which might allow an elaborated sociological analysis of the relationship between information and communication technology on the one hand, and social inequalities on the other. The authors seek to go beyond the familiar idea of the 'digital divide' to develop a focus on digital social inequality, through discussing three bodies of literature which are normally not discussed together. The paper thus addresses issues in feminist theory; the sociological field analysis of Pierre Bourdieu; and the Actor Network Theory. This paper shows that there are unexpected commonalities in these three perspectives which allow the possibility of effective cross-fertilization. All seek to avoid positing the existence of reified social groups which are held separate from technological forces, and all stress the role of fluid forms of relationality, from which social inequalities can emerge as forms of stabilization, accumulation and convertibility.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)937-955
Number of pages19
JournalInformation, Communication & Society
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • sociology, social theory, digital divide

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