Information Society from a Comparative Perspective: Digital Divide and Social Effects of the Internet


The article shows results from the World Internet Project, an international research focused on examining the influence of computers, the Internet and related technologies on the individual, family and society. The main goal of this paper is to give readers a general view on Internet use in four studied countries (USA, Singapore, Hungary, Czech Republic). The article shows differences in the Internet use according to gender, age and education of the population, indicating the digital gaps in these four countries. The results about reasons for non Internet use are also presented. The paper also gives a basic image of the effects of the Internet on time spent with families and the overall contact with families and friends. The article presents data from quantitative research on population samples of 18 years of age and older, all four samples were made representative for each country.

Information Society from a Comparative Perspective, Digital Divide and Social Effects of the Internet
Author biographies

Anna Galácz

Author photoAnna Galácz (1979) is a sociologist, PhD student at the Doctoral School in Sociology at the Eötvös L. University, Budapest. She is a senior researcher at ITHAKA Kht. and the scientific coordinator of the Hungarian World Internet Project. Fields of interest: Diffusion of the Internet, social construction of the Internet and other technologies, interaction between technology and society.

Recent publication: Hungary: political strategies and citizen tactics in the 2004 European Parliament elections, in: R. Kluver, N.W. Jankowski, K. A. Foot and S. M. Schneider (eds.): The Intrenet and National Elections, Routledge, London, 2007. (with Endre Dányi)

David Smahel

Author photoDavid Smahel, Ph.D. is the Professor at the Institute of Children, Youth and Family Research, Masaryk University, the Czech Republic. He directs the Interdisciplinary Research Team on Internet and Society (IRTIS) which researches social-psychological implications of the internet and technology. Current research focuses on adolescents’ and adults’ internet use, the online risks of children and adolescents, the construction of online identities and virtual relationships, and online addictive behavior. He is editor of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace and has co-authored book Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development (Springer, 2011). Smahel also published in several international journals such as Developmental Psychology, Cyberpsychology & Behavior, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, European Journal of Developmental Psychology and others. He is also author of several book chapters, such as in Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior, Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment, Gesundheit und Neue Medien etc.

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