The Internet and Social Inequalities
Routledge – 2009 – 182 pages
Ideal for use as a core or secondary text in lower division social inequalities or social problems courses, this book explains how the changing nature and uses of the Internet not only mirror today’s social inequalities, but also are at the heart of how stratification is now taking place. A pioneering work, both intellectually, and pedagogically.
"The Internet and Social Inequalities provides a useful overview of theories relevant to understanding inequality in access to and use of the new digital inequalities. By placing research on the digital divide into the context of major theoretical traditions, the authors provide a rich framework for understanding this critical form of inequality."—Paul DiMaggio, Sociology, Princeton University
"Jim Witte and Susan Mannon did not just write another book about the empirical facts on internet users, but rather innovatively put the numbers they provide in an array of sociological perspectives. Moreover they provide a wealth of statistical facts and figures making the book an important standard text for students and researchers."—Gert Wagner, Economics, Berlin University of Technology
"In sum, the text is well written and clearly organized. The introductory chapter offers an interesting overview of the phenomenon of the digital divide, and the three central chapters are excellent and stimulatingly insightful in combining the classical sociological theories with recent empirical data. The final chapter presents an integration of the three chapters, explaining why they collectively provide a better understand of the phenomenon of the digital divide than any of the chapters alone. At the same time, the final chapter provides a view toward the future, introducing some relevant and critical aspects such as digital privacy. From a teaching perspective, this text could be used in both undergraduate and graduate courses, as it potentially offers different levels of reading in accordance with different levels of knowledge."—Teaching Sociology, Volume 39, Number 3, Massimo Ragnedda, University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy
1. A Sociology of the Internet 2. Internet Use Among American Adults 3. Internet Inequality From a Conflict Perspective 4. Internet Inequality From a Cultural Perspective 5. Internet Inequality From a Functionalist Perspective 6. Patterns of Inequality and the Future of the Internet
James C. Witte (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Social Science Research at George Mason University.Witte was previously Chair of the Communication and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Susan E. Mannon (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Utah State University.She teaches and does research in the areas of social inequality and international development. Her work has appeared in Gender & Society, Human Organization, and Sociological Spectrum.