The proliferation and use of digital media is regarded as a prerequisite for the economic, social, political and cultural change that accompanies the digital transformation. The phenomenon of the “digital divide” describes inequalities in the spread and use of digital information and communication technologies. This inequality between different geographical regions, socio-demographic groups and individuals can lead the transformation process into divergent directions. It is therefore of strategic importance for companies and social actors.
This inequality between different geographical regions, socio-demographic groups and individuals can lead the transformation process into divergent directions. It is therefore of strategic importance for companies and social actors.
Dr. Dr. Jörn Lengsfeld presented a new approach for the conceptualization and quantification of the digital divide. This approach makes it possible to examine both the international and socio-demographic aspects of division. Building on this, he has carried out extensive empirical studies in which the depth and development of the digital divide in 100 countries worldwide were quantitatively determined.
Over the past decades, the world has been confronted with a dramatic technological, social and economic change that is still continuing and increasing in size. It focuses on the rapid development and dissemination of information and communication technologies. The magnitude of these changes is reflected in the notion of a “digital revolution”, which is coupled with the association of upheaval. The emerging new structures are called the “information society”. The term “information age” even heralds the beginning of a new epoch. Indeed, this transformation process has an impact on almost every aspect of human life, cultural development, the social structure, political processes and the economic system.
Anticipating the eminent significance of this development, the transformation process has been closely observed and carefully examined by the scientific community from the very beginning. An early observation was that the diffusion of information and communication technologies has not taken place at the same speed in different parts of the world, and that the adaptation of new technologies has not taken place in the same way in different social groups. In view of the resulting differences, the basic idea of a “digital divide” has emerged.
The term “digital divide” refers to inequalities in the use of information and communication technologies between individuals, social groups and geographical units. This division can lead to divergent development tendencies between individuals, groups or regions. This can have many different effects on social, economic and political structures.
For this reason, the study of inequalities in the use of information and communication technologies in recent years in particular has become an area of research to which great importance is attached.
The International Digital Divide describes inequalities in the use of information and communication technologies between different countries. Access to and use of information and communication technologies have a major impact on the social, political and economic conditions in the information age. Differences between countries are thus becoming an important determinant of political conditions, geostrategic conditions, market potential and development prospects as well as a central competitive factor in the international market. In view of this importance, the study of the international digital divide is of great relevance for science and practice. The description of the differences, the explication of their genesis and the exploration of their possible implications are of paramount importance.
Dr. Dr. Jörn Lengsfeld has published several comprehensive empirical studies on the phenomenon of the digital divide. A reconceptionalization was undertaken by introducing econometric methods for the quantitative investigation of the structures of the use of digital technologies. The new approach has been empirically applied in international comparative studies.
A particularly extensive empirical study on this topic has been presented by Jörn Lensfeld in his second dissertation. The empirical study examined the use of various digital technologies in 100 countries at several points in time. The research was based on secondary data from 700 surveys with a total of more than three million respondents. Based on his new methodological approach the study provides a detailed picture of the evolution of the digital divide in its national and international dimension.