Is it the great equalizer? a social class based longitudinal analysis of technology diffusion

Sunil Wattal, Yili Hong, Munir Mandviwalla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Technology in general and the Internet in particular have often been seen as the "great equalizer" in that it provides a level playing field for all individuals in the society in terms of competing for social and economic opportunities. However, technology philosophers such as Andrew Feenberg have argued that technology diffusion mirrors the existing social order. Which of these worldviews actually holds is an open question, and in this research, we try to answer it using data on adoption of multiple technologies by individuals in the US over different time periods. Our results suggest that technology diffusion largely takes place along existing social class lines, and that the arrival of newer technologies ensures that the digital divide perpetuates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICIS 2010 Proceedings - Thirty First International Conference on Information Systems
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event31st International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2010 - Saint Louis, MO, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2010Dec 15 2010

Publication series

NameICIS 2010 Proceedings - Thirty First International Conference on Information Systems

Other

Other31st International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2010
CountryUnited States
CitySaint Louis, MO
Period12/12/1012/15/10

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Critical theory of technology
  • Digital divide
  • Information technology diffusion
  • Social classes
  • Technology diffusion lifecycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems

Cite this

Wattal, S., Hong, Y., & Mandviwalla, M. (2010). Is it the great equalizer? a social class based longitudinal analysis of technology diffusion. In ICIS 2010 Proceedings - Thirty First International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2010 Proceedings - Thirty First International Conference on Information Systems).