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The Global Digital Divide, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 3

Words: 861

Research Proposal

Dividing the World Based on Technology the Role and Responsibility of Developed Nations in Bridging the Digital Divide

Research Statement

This proposal examines the current implications of the global digital divide and the role of developed nations to bridge the gap. As globalization expands the reach of e-commerce and digital telecommunications in the form of mobile devices and social networks, internet use becomes an increasingly more a distinct measure of socioeconomic success and affluence worldwide. This poses a question as to what causes the technological gap between countries and what is the role of more technologically advanced nations to bridge this gap? The following research attempts to answer these questions.

Literature Review

There has long been a dividing line between the haves and have-nots, while it has largely been measured in fiscal terms, wealth is predominantly understood as a byproduct of access. On a global and international level, in his article “The international gap in technology,” author Potashnik notes that, “At the dawn of the twenty-first century, there was a major gap between industrialized and developing countries in terms of their access to information and communications technology (ICT).” The author goes on to identify globalization as the main cause of this discrepancy. He says, “This gap has come to be known as the digital divide and is illustrative of the vast differences in development among nations resulting from the process of globalization (Potashnik, 2012).” The data presented in this research article sets the groundwork for a clearer understanding of the relationship between countries as they are measured by their use of the internet and it’s related technologies.

There is a consensus among researchers of technology and its world influence that the current global divide in digital technology can be measured by cross-national differences in Internet use which can be directly attributed to “the economic, regulatory and sociopolitical characteristics of countries and their evolution over time (Guillen, Suarez, 2005).” In a recent study examining data of over 118 countries from 1997 through 2001, researchers found a massive amount of results supporting the hypothesis that, internet use increases world-system status, privatization and competition in the telecommunications, democracy and cosmopolitanism (Guillen, Suarez, 2005).

In his work “Addressing the Global Digital Divide and its Impact on Educational Opportunity,” Drew Tiene makes a connection between access to information and education. He theorizes that lack of information through the internet has a direct effect on access to opportunities (Tiene, 2002). He largely attributes this disparity to the ample growth of educational resources found online but also some significant tools provided through the web such as online degree providing educational institutions.

In their study “An Initiative to Narrow the Digital Divide,” the authors evaluate the preliminary results of initiative implemented by the U.S. to narrow the technological gap between states as well as worldwide (Sipior, Ward & Marzec, 2002). The data presented in the study is very telling about the current state of technological exposure in America as well in other countries, and how it correlates to a country’s economic status or use or democracy.

Case Study

As Meng-chun and Gee San assess in their cases study on bridging the global digital divide, “differing from previous studies that look at the Internet’s popularity, this paper focuses on the speed of diffusion of such technologies over the period from 1997 to 2002 in order to highlight its role as a critical driving force in enhancing the social learning of a country (Meng-chun & Gee San, n.d.).” This data is key at helping to identify not only how technologically deprived countries can enhance their capabilities, but also serves as a great tool for tracking the cause for how internet based telecommunications have been able to exponentially lap the countries that were left behind.

Conclusion

In sum, this report will present the contemporary data on the digital gap between countries. The belief that this new trend of dramatic discrepancy between socio-economic status of nations can be attributed to globalization is a common one. This does not change the urgent need for global technology leaders to take part in bridging the gap between standard global internet use and that of underdeveloped nations. This report shows support of a distinct connection between the lack of information through limited telecommunication sources, specifically the internet, and despondency. The author’s personal interpretation of these results is that implantation of internet friendly policy in third world countries, as well as initiatives to get the needed technological devices in the hands of the people living in these countries will play a significant role in enhancing their economic status and quality.

Work Cited

Guillen, M. F. & Suarez, S. L.(2005). Explaining the Global Digital Divide: Economic, Political and Sociological Drivers of Cross-National Internet Use. Social Forces 84(2), 681-708. Oxford University Press. Retrieved November 11, 2012, from Project MUSE database.

Meng-chun Liu. , & Gee San, (n.d.). Social learning and digital divides: A case study of internet technology diffusion. Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Knowledge Economy and Electronic Commerce, 374-388.

Potashnik, M. (2012). The international gap in technology. Retrieved from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2124/International-Gap-in-Technology.html

Sipior, J. C., Ward, B. T., & Marzec, J. Z. (2002). An initiative to narrow the digital divide: preliminary results.ECIS, 1287-1296.

Tiene, D. (2002). Addressing the global digital divide and its impact on educational opportunity. Educational Media International, 211-222. doi: 10.1080/09523980210166440

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