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Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society,…

Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation

by Karen Mossberger

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My 1200-word review was recently published in the journal, Health Promotion, and Practice (Sage). It's available online at http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/11/03/1524839916676263.full.pdf?ijkey=...
  erhicks | Nov 7, 2016 |
"Digital Citizenship," in addition to offering a well-researched and finely-documented snapshot of the state of Internet use in the first few years of this century, opens with a great definition: "'Digital citizenship' is the ability to participate in society online" (p. 1). Chapters covering benefits of various aspects of society online (economic opportunity, civic engagement, and political participation) lead us to discussions of the digital divide, the impact of broadband on increases in digital citizenship, and public education and universal access--with an acknowledgement of the important roles libraries have played in making the Internet accessible to those who might otherwise not find their way to online resources. Through the writers’ work, we are treated to reminders that "[n]ot only is Internet use more widespread but creative new methods of online organizing emphasize political community rather than isolation" (p. 51); that the use of online news sources 'encourages civic engagement" (p. 62); and that online discussions "suggest the discourse of the salons of the 1890s that the early proponents of deliberative democracy idealized" (p. 72)--although personal experience provides plenty of examples of online discussions being comparable to a pie fight or a mud-wrestling match. Not surprisingly, "Digital Citizenship", like any book about the Internet, began showing its age as soon as it was published; it does, however, remain well worth reading for its views on how Internet use can foster a sense of civic inclusion--and how much remains to be done to create a fully-engaged and fully-informed digital citizenship. ( )
  paulsignorelli | Feb 19, 2013 |
It's now available as an ebook on the MIT press portal http://mitpress-ebooks.mit.edu/product/digital-citizenship
  ipublishcentral | Jun 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0262633531, Paperback)

Just as education has promoted democracy and economic growth, the Internet has the potential to benefit society as a whole. Digital citizenship, or the ability to participate in society online, promotes social inclusion. But statistics show that significant segments of the population are still excluded from digital citizenship. The authors of this book define digital citizens as those who are online daily. By focusing on frequent use, they reconceptualize debates about the digital divide to include both the means and the skills to participate online. They offer new evidence (drawn from recent national opinion surveys and Current Population Surveys) that technology use matters for wages and income, and for civic engagement and voting. Digital Citizenship examines three aspects of participation in society online: economic opportunity, democratic participation, and inclusion in prevailing forms of communication. The authors find that Internet use at work increases wages, with less-educated and minority workers receiving the greatest benefit, and that Internet use is significantly related to political participation, especially among the young. The authors examine in detail the gaps in technological access among minorities and the poor and predict that this digital inequality is not likely to disappear in the near future. Public policy, they argue, must address educational and technological disparities if we are to achieve full participation and citizenship in the twenty-first century. Karen Mossberger is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Public Administration, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago. Caroline J. Tolbert is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She and Karen Mossberger are coauthors (with Mary Stansbury) of Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide. Ramona S. McNeal is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Political Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:26 -0400)

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