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The Missing Gap between Internet Use and Benefits : Seniors’ Limited Internet Experiences and Social Marginalization

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Authors
Park, Youn-Min
Issue Date
2008-06
Publisher
Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Citation
Development and Society, Vol.37 No.1, pp. 97-115
Keywords
IT DevelopmentSocial InclusionSocial MarginalizationTechnology DeterminismInternet UseDigital DivideInformation PolicyOlder People
Abstract
Korea’'s IT development has been predominated by technology diffusion alone including technology infrastructure, online service access and number of Internet subscribers. There seems to be no doubt that Korea's continuous effort to promote technology spread will promise social integration and development nationwide. This paper challenges such mislead thinking of IT for development by emphasizing the actual experiences of Internet use to meet the end users' needs. Observation is made through listening to the stories of a marginalized group of seniors who have participated in IT education programs at a Senior Welfare Center. Findings suggest that having acquired IT skills did not necessarily enable seniors to extend their personal relationships and social involvement in everyday life. Rather, their use of the Internet was restricted due to the ongoing social marginalization prevalent within their present situation. Policy implications are provided that information policies for disadvantaged groups such as seniors must go beyond technology access and skills provision to include other basic social policies to complement and support people's information use relevant for their social need and circumstances.
ISSN
1598-8074
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/86710
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and Society Development and Society Vol.37 No.1/2 (2008)
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