Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use

Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use

Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use

Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use

Synopsis

Innbsp;Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use, editors Erik P. Bucy and John E. Newhagen present the latest work, theoretical explorations, and original research findings on media access from a team of internationally renowned media and technology researchers. Chapters develop expanded definitions and conceptual understandings of access to stimulate further research, offer new perspectives on policy discussions, and facilitate media participation among those at risk of being left behind. Broadening our understanding of information technology use, this collection offers: *Novel perspectives--chapters demonstrate new methods of addressing persistent questions regarding motivation, cultural context, socioeconomic resources, technical knowledge, and psychological skills required for effectual use of information and communication technologies. *Conceptual integration--each chapter addresses a vital aspect of media access and summarizes pertinent findings, weaving together results to provide much-needed integration across communication and technology studies. *Multidisciplinary approaches--chapters represent a variety of conceptual and methodological approaches, deriving social explanations from large-scale survey data, psychological explanations from experimental data, and cultural explanations from depth interviews and ethnographic methods. *Shifting the policy and research agenda--this volume extends and redirects aspects of the digital divide debate while elaborating the "media access" approach to studying new technology use. Taken as a whole, Media Access reveals complications associated with full access to new communication technologies and proposes analytical frameworks that open new avenues of scholarly investigation and policy consideration. It is intended for scholars and graduate students in journalism, mass communication, telecommunications, media studies, information science, public policy, psychology, sociology, informatics, human-computer interaction, and other disciplines concerned with the issue of media access.

Excerpt

Relatively early in the Internet's widespread diffusion into society, it became clear that full access to new communication technologies implied more than network connectivity, hardware availability, and other technical considerations that were too frequently the focus of policy discussions. As Newhagen observed in a dialogue with Rafaeli (Newhagen & Rafaeli, 1996), “the Net engages users in cognitively effortful tasks and challenges them to be active” in ways mass media do not (p. 12). As such, it becomes important to ask what effect variable cognitive skills, such as the ability to process content or perform searches, have on the ability to exploit the Internet's potential. Equally important are the social and cultural factors that may constrain new technology adoption and use—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The problem of access, then, depends not only on the user's educational and economic background, but also on his or her social, cultural, and psychological characteristics.

The chapters of Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use depart from popular understandings of new technology use by recognizing that a distinction can be made between having access to the Internet as a technology and being able to access the content that resides on it. The idea that physical access to a computer is sufficient to enable Internet use, however, seems to dominate the thinking of many policymakers looking for simple or immediate solutions. The Internet has taken hold as a major communications medium: An . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.