From Unequal Access to Differentiated Use: A Literature
Review and Agenda for Research on Digital Inequality
Working Paper #29, Fall 2003
Paul DiMaggio, Eszter Hargittai, Coral Celeste, and Steven
This paper reviews what we know about inequality in access to
and use of new digital technologies. Until recently, most research
has focused on inequality in access (the "digital divide"),
measured in a variety of ways. We agree that inequality in access
is important, because it is likely to reinforce inequality in
opportunities for economic mobility and social participation.
At the same time we argue that a more thorough understanding of
digital inequality requires placing Internet access in a broader
theoretical context, and asking a wider range of questions about
the impact of information technologies and informational goods on
This paper was prepared for the Russell Sage Foundation.
text version in PDF available from the Russell Sage Foundation.