Age-Based Digital Divide: Uses of the Internet in People Over 54 Years Old

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Title: Age-Based Digital Divide: Uses of the Internet in People Over 54 Years Old
Authors: Papí-Gálvez, Natalia | La Parra-Casado, Daniel
Research Group/s: Grupo de Estudios sobre Comunicación Estratégica (E-COM) | Observatorio Europeo de Tendencias Sociales (OBETS)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Comunicación y Psicología Social | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Sociología II
Keywords: Digital competence | Digital divide | Grey divide | Internet access | Logistic regression | Social context
Issue Date: 29-Jun-2023
Publisher: Cogitatio
Citation: Media and Communication. 2023, 11(3): 77-87.
Abstract: The digitization process is widespread and unrelenting. Compared with other European countries, Spain has a good position in the latest data compiled in the Digital Economy and Society Index. Direct use of communication and information technologies is high among the regions in Spain, where the national average in the region of Valencia stands out. However, despite this context, differences between population groups continue to be observed in different dimensions of the digital divide. This article explores this multidimensional gap among the midlife and older adult population. The research design adopts a mixed-method sequential design (questionnaire-based survey, follow-up with semi-structured interviews) to explore social positions in relation to access and use of technologies and the meanings that people ascribe to such positions and actions. A telephone survey was conducted with 1,800 people over 54 years of age residing in Valencia in September 2021, followed by 67 in-depth interviews. The results suggest that demographic and socioeconomic characteristics (level of education, age, and gender) determine people’s position in the digital divide. Qualitative discourses qualify these results by elucidating key aspects that could be acting as protectors of digital and social exclusion. They are related to the social and family context and the characteristics of digital service providers. The findings are useful to guide both public policies to promote digital inclusion and private market actors when designing their digital strategies.
Sponsor: This work was funded and supported by the Valencia Regional Government’s Directorate General for the Fight Against the Digital Divide under the Regional Department of Innovation, Science, Universities, and Digital Society.
ISSN: 2183-2439
DOI: 10.17645/mac.v11i3.6744
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2023 by the author(s); licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY).
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - OBETS - Artículos de Revistas
INV - E-COM - Artículos de Revistas
INV - EQUIDIVERSIDAD - Artículos de Revistas

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