ERIC Number: ED421563
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb-2
Reference Count: N/A
Bridging the Digital Divide: The Impact of Race on Computer Access and Internet Use.
Hoffman, Donna L.; Novak, Thomas P.
The differences between Whites and African Americans in the United States with respect to computer access, which is the current prerequisite for Internet access and World Wide Web use, were studied. The question was whether observed race differences in access and use can be accounted for by differences in income and education, how access impacts use, and when race matters in the calculation of equal access. Whites are more likely than African Americans to have a computer in their homes (44.2% compared to 29.0%), but African Americans are more likely to state that they would like to acquire access to a computer. Whites are more likely to have used the Web (26% versus 22%). Increasing levels of household income corresponding to increased likelihood of owning a home computer, regardless of race. Increasing levels of education correspond to an increased likelihood of work computer access, regardless of race. People who owned a home computer and had access to a work computer were much more likely than others to have used the World Wide Web in the past 6 months. When students are considered, race almost always makes a difference. White students lacking a home computer, but not African American students, appear to find an alternative means of accessing the Internet. These results have certain implications for policy with regard to computer access. African American students need multiple points of computer access. To ensure the participation of African Americans in the information revolution, it is critical to improve the educational opportunities of African Americans. Results also indicate that if access is ensured, use will follow. (Contains 5 figures and 20 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Access to Technology; African Americans
Note: Version of the article "Bridging the Racial Divide on the Internet," published in "Science," April 17, 1998.