Purpose In recent times the relationship between social stratification and internet use has become more complex. In order to understand the new configuration of the digital divide, this paper examines the relationship between socioeconomic background and digital engagement among youths. Methodology/approach This study explores digital inequalities among Italian teenagers from a holistic perspective. It draws on primary data obtained with a triangulation of methods: a survey on a representative sample of 2,025 high school students and 56 semi-structured interviews with teenagers from different social classes. Findings The statistical models indicate that cultural capital and parents’ occupational status do not associate with broader social media use but are positively related with online information-seeking. The interpretative analysis suggests that teenagers from the upper-middle class make sense of the internet “vertically,” in affiliation with parental socialization, and are more concerned with capital enhancing activities. Instead, teenagers from less advantageous social contexts appropriate the internet “horizontally,” jointly with peers, and are mostly interested in social-networking and UGC production. Practical implications School track, along with parents’ socioeconomic status and cultural capital, influences teenagers’ internet use. Further studies could explore whether school tracking contributes to digital inequalities. Originality/value The study extends Annette Lareau’s theory of parenting styles and social reproduction, but also obtains innovative results related to digital inequalities among youth. Contrary to expectations, teenagers from less advantageous social backgrounds enrolled in vocational schools have better chances to actively participate in social media than teens from the upper-middle class in academic-oriented high schools.
Micheli, M. (2015). What is New in the Digital Divide? Understanding Internet Use by Teenagers from Different Social Backgrounds. In L. Robinson, S.R. Cotten, J. Schulz, T.M. Hale, & A. Williams (a cura di), Communication and Information Technologies Annual. Digital Distinctions and Inequalities (pp. 55-87). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
|Citazione:||Micheli, M. (2015). What is New in the Digital Divide? Understanding Internet Use by Teenagers from Different Social Backgrounds. In L. Robinson, S.R. Cotten, J. Schulz, T.M. Hale, & A. Williams (a cura di), Communication and Information Technologies Annual. Digital Distinctions and Inequalities (pp. 55-87). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.|
|Titolo:||What is New in the Digital Divide? Understanding Internet Use by Teenagers from Different Social Backgrounds|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Tipo:||Capitolo o saggio|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Titolo del libro:||Communication and Information Technologies Annual. Digital Distinctions and Inequalities|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in libro|
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