Characteristics of the Digital Divide in Romania and Differences in Internet Use in Comparison with Internet Use in Europe

Oana ȘTEFĂNIȚĂ, Loredana IVAN


Abstract:

During the development of the digital communication at a global scale, several researchers investigated issues such as the access to Internet or the differentiated use of Internet. Previous studies analyzed the factors that sustain the Internet spreading, that enable the use of Internet instead of traditional media. The barriers and the benefits for several categories of Internet users are considered a necessary piece of knowledge in order to understand and enlarge the future role of Internet in education or in improving life quality. Several theoretical approaches were discussed in order to provide explanations and scenarios for the evolution of the digital gaps between categories of people. The digital divide is understood to be a complex phenomenon and research in this area focuses on determining the factors leading to a differentiated Internet use, as well as the way digital access enhances people’s life chances. Therefore, by using quantitative data from nationally representative surveys, the paper aims to investigate the digital divide in Romania both in terms of access and use. Another objective is to analyze the difference in Internet use for different categories of people, in comparison with similar groups from other European countries.

Keywords: Digital divide; Internet access; Internet use; Digital differentiation

DOI: 10.24193/jmr.31.1

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