Next Article in Journal
A Review of Cyber Threats and Defence Approaches in Emergency Management
Next Article in Special Issue
Racial Exclusion in the Online World
Previous Article in Journal
QoS Self-Provisioning and Interference Management for Co-Channel Deployed 3G Femtocells
Previous Article in Special Issue
African Americans and Network Disadvantage: Enhancing Social Capital through Participation on Social Networking Sites
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Digital Differentiation in Young People’s Internet Use—Eliminating or Reproducing Disability Stereotypes

Program for Physiotherapy Education, Department of Health and Social Work, Sør-Trøndelag University College, P.O. 2320, Trondheim NO-7004, Norway
Future Internet 2013, 5(2), 190-204;
Received: 12 March 2013 / Revised: 8 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality in the Digital Environment)
PDF [194 KB, uploaded 7 May 2013]


Norwegian authorities’ policy aims at securing an information society for all, emphasizing the importance of accessible and usable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for everyone. While the body of research on young people’s use of ICT is quite comprehensive, research addressing digital differentiation in young people with disabilities’ use of ICT is still in its early days. This article investigates how young people with disabilities’ use, or non-use, of assistive ICT creates digital differentiations. The investigation elaborates on how the anticipations and stereotypes of disability establish an authoritative definition of assistive ICT, and the consequence this creates for the use of the Web by young people with disabilities. The object of the article is to provide enhanced insight into the field of technology and disability by illuminating how assistive ICT sometimes eliminates and sometimes reproduces stereotypes and digital differentiations. The investigation draws on a qualitative interview study with 23 young Norwegians with disabilities, aged 15–20 years. I draw on a theoretical perspective to analyze the findings of the study, which employs the concept of identity multiplicity. The article’s closing discussion expands on technology’s significance in young people’s negotiations of impairment and of perceptions of disability. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive technology; digital differentiation; disability; identity assistive technology; digital differentiation; disability; identity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Söderström, S. Digital Differentiation in Young People’s Internet Use—Eliminating or Reproducing Disability Stereotypes. Future Internet 2013, 5, 190-204.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Future Internet EISSN 1999-5903 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top