Exploring Privilege in the Digital Divide

Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice

Mei Lan  Fang, Sarah L. Canham, Lupin Battersby, Judith Sixsmith, Mineko  Wada, Andrew Sixsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and Objectives: The digital revolution has resulted in innovative solutions and technologies that can support the well-being, independence, and health of seniors. Yet, the notion of the “digital divide” presents significant inequities in terms of who accesses and benefits from the digital landscape. To better understand the social and structural inequities of the digital divide, a realist synthesis was conducted to: inform theoretical understandings of information and communication technologies (ICTs); understand the practicalities of access and use inequities; uncover practices that facilitate digital literacy and participation; and recommend policies to mitigate the digital divide.

Research Design and Methods : A systematic search yielded 55 articles published between 2006 and 2016. Synthesis of existing knowledge, combined with user-experience elicited through a deliberative dialogue session with community stakeholders (n=35), made visible a pattern of privilege that determined individual agency in ICT access and use.

Results: Though age is consistently centralized as the key determinant of the digital divide, our analyses, which encompassed both van Dijk’s resources and appropriation theory and intersectionality, appraised this notion and revealed that age is not the sole determinant. Findings highlight the role of other factors that contribute to digital inequity among community-dwelling middle-aged (45-64) and older (65+) adults, including education, income, gender, and generational status.

Discussion and Implications: Informed by results of a realist synthesis that was guided by intersectional perspectives, a conceptual framework was developed outlining implications for theory, policy, and practice to address the wicked problem that is the digital divide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1-e15
Number of pages15
JournalGerontologist
Volume59
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Technology
Communication
Independent Living
Research Design
Digital Divide
Education
Health
Literacy

Keywords

  • Access and Utilization of Services
  • Digital Divide
  • Public Policy
  • Quality of Life
  • Realist Synthesis
  • Social Roles and Social Factors
  • Technology
  • Theory

Cite this

Fang, Mei Lan  ; Canham, Sarah L. ; Battersby, Lupin ; Sixsmith, Judith ; Wada, Mineko  ; Sixsmith, Andrew. / Exploring Privilege in the Digital Divide : Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice. In: Gerontologist. 2019 ; Vol. 59, No. 1. pp. e1-e15.
@article{695169d4fe534309a7cdeaa544593d04,
title = "Exploring Privilege in the Digital Divide: Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice",
abstract = "Background and Objectives: The digital revolution has resulted in innovative solutions and technologies that can support the well-being, independence, and health of seniors. Yet, the notion of the “digital divide” presents significant inequities in terms of who accesses and benefits from the digital landscape. To better understand the social and structural inequities of the digital divide, a realist synthesis was conducted to: inform theoretical understandings of information and communication technologies (ICTs); understand the practicalities of access and use inequities; uncover practices that facilitate digital literacy and participation; and recommend policies to mitigate the digital divide.Research Design and Methods : A systematic search yielded 55 articles published between 2006 and 2016. Synthesis of existing knowledge, combined with user-experience elicited through a deliberative dialogue session with community stakeholders (n=35), made visible a pattern of privilege that determined individual agency in ICT access and use.Results: Though age is consistently centralized as the key determinant of the digital divide, our analyses, which encompassed both van Dijk’s resources and appropriation theory and intersectionality, appraised this notion and revealed that age is not the sole determinant. Findings highlight the role of other factors that contribute to digital inequity among community-dwelling middle-aged (45-64) and older (65+) adults, including education, income, gender, and generational status.Discussion and Implications: Informed by results of a realist synthesis that was guided by intersectional perspectives, a conceptual framework was developed outlining implications for theory, policy, and practice to address the wicked problem that is the digital divide.",
keywords = "Access and Utilization of Services, Digital Divide, Public Policy, Quality of Life, Realist Synthesis, Social Roles and Social Factors, Technology, Theory",
author = "Fang, {Mei Lan } and Canham, {Sarah L.} and Lupin Battersby and Judith Sixsmith and Mineko  Wada and Andrew Sixsmith",
note = "This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (grant number 421-2015-2014). This paper was published as part of a supplement sponsored and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1093/geront/gny037",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "e1--e15",
journal = "Gerontologist",
issn = "0016-9013",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "1",

}

Exploring Privilege in the Digital Divide : Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice. / Fang, Mei Lan  ; Canham, Sarah L.; Battersby, Lupin; Sixsmith, Judith; Wada, Mineko ; Sixsmith, Andrew.

In: Gerontologist, Vol. 59, No. 1, 02.2019, p. e1-e15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring Privilege in the Digital Divide

T2 - Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice

AU - Fang, Mei Lan 

AU - Canham, Sarah L.

AU - Battersby, Lupin

AU - Sixsmith, Judith

AU - Wada, Mineko 

AU - Sixsmith, Andrew

N1 - This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (grant number 421-2015-2014). This paper was published as part of a supplement sponsored and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - Background and Objectives: The digital revolution has resulted in innovative solutions and technologies that can support the well-being, independence, and health of seniors. Yet, the notion of the “digital divide” presents significant inequities in terms of who accesses and benefits from the digital landscape. To better understand the social and structural inequities of the digital divide, a realist synthesis was conducted to: inform theoretical understandings of information and communication technologies (ICTs); understand the practicalities of access and use inequities; uncover practices that facilitate digital literacy and participation; and recommend policies to mitigate the digital divide.Research Design and Methods : A systematic search yielded 55 articles published between 2006 and 2016. Synthesis of existing knowledge, combined with user-experience elicited through a deliberative dialogue session with community stakeholders (n=35), made visible a pattern of privilege that determined individual agency in ICT access and use.Results: Though age is consistently centralized as the key determinant of the digital divide, our analyses, which encompassed both van Dijk’s resources and appropriation theory and intersectionality, appraised this notion and revealed that age is not the sole determinant. Findings highlight the role of other factors that contribute to digital inequity among community-dwelling middle-aged (45-64) and older (65+) adults, including education, income, gender, and generational status.Discussion and Implications: Informed by results of a realist synthesis that was guided by intersectional perspectives, a conceptual framework was developed outlining implications for theory, policy, and practice to address the wicked problem that is the digital divide.

AB - Background and Objectives: The digital revolution has resulted in innovative solutions and technologies that can support the well-being, independence, and health of seniors. Yet, the notion of the “digital divide” presents significant inequities in terms of who accesses and benefits from the digital landscape. To better understand the social and structural inequities of the digital divide, a realist synthesis was conducted to: inform theoretical understandings of information and communication technologies (ICTs); understand the practicalities of access and use inequities; uncover practices that facilitate digital literacy and participation; and recommend policies to mitigate the digital divide.Research Design and Methods : A systematic search yielded 55 articles published between 2006 and 2016. Synthesis of existing knowledge, combined with user-experience elicited through a deliberative dialogue session with community stakeholders (n=35), made visible a pattern of privilege that determined individual agency in ICT access and use.Results: Though age is consistently centralized as the key determinant of the digital divide, our analyses, which encompassed both van Dijk’s resources and appropriation theory and intersectionality, appraised this notion and revealed that age is not the sole determinant. Findings highlight the role of other factors that contribute to digital inequity among community-dwelling middle-aged (45-64) and older (65+) adults, including education, income, gender, and generational status.Discussion and Implications: Informed by results of a realist synthesis that was guided by intersectional perspectives, a conceptual framework was developed outlining implications for theory, policy, and practice to address the wicked problem that is the digital divide.

KW - Access and Utilization of Services

KW - Digital Divide

KW - Public Policy

KW - Quality of Life

KW - Realist Synthesis

KW - Social Roles and Social Factors

KW - Technology

KW - Theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058969664&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/geront/gny037

DO - 10.1093/geront/gny037

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - e1-e15

JO - Gerontologist

JF - Gerontologist

SN - 0016-9013

IS - 1

ER -