The handy alliterative language of a "digital divide" continues to dominate discussions of access to information and communication technologies and their importance for educational, employment, and other life opportunities. Certainly, it must be a topic of crucial public concern if a resource so central to life chances is reinforcing other dimensions of social advantage and disadvantage. And yet, almost as soon as the term gained currency, with its metaphorical imagery of a gulf between technological "haves" and "have nots," it began receiving criticism for conceptualizing the nature of the problem of technological inequalities in a misleading fashion. This essay reviews the debate over the meanings of the "digital divide," various attempts to reconceptualize the issue, and why, in our view, the discussion still by and large misses key aspects of the problem.
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