4.1 Digital divides in a global society (Intro)

Just Digital Part 2: Taking Control, Making a Difference 4.1 Digital divides in a global society (Intro)

Digital divides are differences in access and opportunity created by
digital technologies. These divides are compounded by social factors
like class, gender, and race. Digital communication can create new
divides or make existing ones bigger. It can also help overcome digital
divides through open, affordable, and accessible technologies.

Simply put, digital divides are gaps between those with access to digital
technology, devices, and skills, and those who are left without. It is a gap of
privilege and power. Much of globalization relies on digitalization. Those
who cannot fully access information technology are effectively sidelined
from many aspects of society. Existing inequalities of wealth, opportunity,
and education contribute to growing digital divides. Marginalized people
and groups suffer disproportionality from digital divides. While digital
communication is a powerful tool for social justice and cohesion, digital
tools and platforms also contribute to the creation of new injustices. In
this chapter, we will look at issues of accessibility and affordability, and
other social factors that contribute to digital divides.


digital divides, accessibility, affordability

Questions to turn into objectives:

Communication builds connectedness. Where do you personally
encounter digital divides? How can you work to bridge them?
y What digital divides do you think are most significant in your
country? Check for studies from your government or universities
and find out what social, political, and technological factors create
and sustain these problems.
y What can we do to see that digital communication technologies
developed in the future do not create new digital divides? Who
should be included in the design and regulation of digital
communication technologies from the very beginning?
y What role can churches play in bridging digital divides? How
can civil society, including faith organizations, use digital
communication to bring people closer together?