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The gap not only closes: Resistance and reverse shifts in the digital divide in Russia

Natalia Grishchenko

Telecommunications Policy, 2020, vol. 44, issue 8

Abstract: The reduction of the digital divide due to the availability of the Internet and the improvement of skills is accompanied by reverse and resistance trends associated with the influence of socio-demographic and economic characteristics of users. In this paper, we estimate the volume and dynamics of the digital divide in access and use of the Internet in Russia by key social groups according to a longitudinal survey for 2008–2018. We found that along with the reducing of the digital divide, its gaps still remain. The greatest polarization is associated with the income, age, and type of residence of the respondents. The most vulnerable social groups on access to ICTs and Internet use are the low-income, the elderly, citizens with disabilities, and those living in rural areas. The reverse shifts in the digital divide were recorded mainly in relation to the Internet usage by age between the middle-age and youth and by gender. In addition, we pointed out the most resistance social groups to reduce the digital divide in the period under review, in particular, by income and type of residence of the respondents. The findings contribute to an understanding of the dynamics and social consequences of the digital divide and can be taken into account in social policy and measures.

Keywords: Digital divide; ICT; RLMS; Social groups; Russia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2020.102004

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