Exploring the Aspects of Digital Divide in a Developing Country

By Acilar, Ali | Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology, Annual 2011 | Go to article overview

Exploring the Aspects of Digital Divide in a Developing Country


Acilar, Ali, Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology


Introduction

The exponential growth of the use of ICTs has had a profound impact on many aspects of daily life. Over the past few decades, ICTs have dramatically transformed the societies and the economies around the world. Today, ICTs have become an essential part of modern culture and cover almost all aspects of life. With advanced ICTs, especially the Internet, the world has today become like a global village. Although developed countries enjoy the benefits of ICTs in almost all areas of life, developing countries do not benefit enough from these technologies. As a result of advances in information technologies, the knowledge gaps between the information-rich and the information-poor have deepened over time and that has caused excluding certain parts of the world from enjoying the fruits of global village (Iskandarani, 2008). Then, the world has begun to notice the phenomenon, named as the digital divide. There is a significant digital divide exists between richer and poorer countries in the use of ICT and the availability of complementary assets such as telecommunications networks and skilled ICT professionals (Genus & Nor, 2007; Shih, Kraemer, & Dedrick, 2008).

While the telecommunications infrastructure has grown and ICT has become less expensive and more accessible, today more than ever, the invisible line that separates rich from poor, men from women and the educated from the illiterate; also separates the connected from the disconnected (Zaidi, 2003). The unequal access to and utilization of ICTs has accepted as one of the prevalent issues of our times (Sciadas, 2005).

Almost every indicator shows that there is a significant difference between developed and developing countries in terms of accessing and using ICTs. For example, according to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), while approximately 72 % of the population is Internet user in developed countries, this ratio is 21% in developing countries. The number of fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants in developed countries is estimated about 41, but, it is 12 in developing countries (ITU, 2010). It can be challenging to access up-to-date knowledge and information in developing countries (Suchak & Eisengrein, 2008).

The main purpose of this study is to explore the digital divide in Turkey and highlight some approach to bridge it. This paper starts by providing overviews of the digital divide, then go on to explore the different aspects of the digital divide in Turkey. Suggestions and recommendations to bridge the digital divide in developing countries are discussed in the end of the paper.

The Digital Divide

The digital divide can be defined as "the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access ICTs and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities" (OECD, 2001, p. 5). The global digital divide refers to differences between countries in terms of access to ICTs. ICT access inequality is called as the first order digital divide and ICT use inequality is called as the second order digital divide (Jin & Cheong, 2008). The digital divide problem has geographic, demographic, and socio-economic dimensions (Yuguchi, 2008).

The term "digital divide" was introduced by Larry Irving, Jr., former US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Telecommunication and Communication in the mid-1990s in order to focus public attention on the existing gap in access to information services between those who can afford to purchase the computer hardware and software necessary to participate in the global information network, and low income families and communities who cannot (Boje & Dragulanescu, 2003).

Wilson (2004, p. 300) defines the digital divide as "an inequality in access, distribution, and use of information and communication technologies between two or more populations.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Exploring the Aspects of Digital Divide in a Developing Country
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.