Beyond 'Access': Internet use and take-up of online services by adults living in disadvantaged areas in England
Devins, D., Darlow, A. and Webber, D. J. (2008) Beyond 'Access': Internet use and take-up of online services by adults living in disadvantaged areas in England. Local Economy, 23 (1). pp. 47-57. ISSN 0269-0942
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02690940801906734
Much discussion of the ‘digital divide’ has focused around the issue of access to technology and how this plays out in relation to different groups from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This paper draws on survey data from a national evaluation project to investigate the likelihood of further digital divides emerging as we look beyond ‘access’ to the consumption of e-services. Logit multiple regression is used to test the extent to which a variety of socio-economic characteristics influence the use of e-services including both commercial services and information. The analysis suggests that women, those from a minority ethnic background and people living in less affluent areas are less likely to access commercial services such as online banking and shopping. Gender differences are particularly noticeable in terms of accessing online information, with women significantly less likely to use the Internet to obtain information that may help support their social and economic inclusion.
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