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Internet as Digital Practice: Examining Differences in African American Internet Usage
Department of Sociology, Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908, USA
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Rochester Institute of Technology, 18 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2011; in revised form: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 8 July 2011 / Published: 20 July 2011
Abstract: This study assesses differences within the African American population with respect to internet activity. Using survey data, we find wide variations within the population. While some segments of African Americans are indeed less likely to perform certain activities on the internet, we note that certain segments of the African American population are reporting more internet activity than other racial groups. These ‘haves’ score high not just in comparison to their African American peers, but to the US American population as a whole. We suggest a move away from the digital divide/digital inequality models and a move towards thinking of greater or lesser Information and Communication Technology (ICT) usage as conditioned by the instrumental needs of population groups. We term this a digital practice model.
Keywords: digital practice; digital divide; digital inequality; internet activity; African American
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Graham, R.; Smith, D.T. Internet as Digital Practice: Examining Differences in African American Internet Usage. Future Internet 2011, 3, 185-203.
Graham R, Smith DT. Internet as Digital Practice: Examining Differences in African American Internet Usage. Future Internet. 2011; 3(3):185-203.
Graham, Roderick; Smith, Danielle Taana. 2011. "Internet as Digital Practice: Examining Differences in African American Internet Usage." Future Internet 3, no. 3: 185-203.