Tercera brecha digital

Toward a Multifaceted Model of Internet Access for Understanding Digital Divides: An Empirical Investigation

Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen and Jan A. G. M. van Dijk (2015)


Publicación: The Information Society: An International Journal


Abstract: In this investigation, a multifaceted model of Internet appropriation that encompasses four types of access—motivational, material, skills, and usage—is tested with a representative sample of the Dutch population. The analysis indicates that while the digital divide policies' focus has moved to skills and usage access, motivational and material access remain relevant since they are necessary through the entire process of Internet appropriation. Moreover, each type of access has its own ground of determination and they interact together to shape digital inequalities. Therefore, digital divide policies should address material, skills, and usage access simultaneously.

The compoundness and sequentiality of digital inequality

Alexander J.A.M. Van Deursen, Ellen Helsper, Rebecca Eynon, Jan A.G.M van Dijk


Publicación: International Journal of Communication


Abstract: Through a survey with a representative sample of Dutch Internet users, this paper examines compound digital exclusion, that is, whether a person who lacks a particular digital skill also lacks another kind of skill; whether a person who does not engage in a particular way online is also less likely to engage in other ways; and whether a person who does not achieve a certain outcome online is also less likely to achieve another type of outcome. We also tested sequential digital exclusion, whether a lower level of digital skills leads to lower levels of engagement with the Internet resulting in a lower likelihood of an individual achieving tangible outcomes. Both types of digital exclusion are a reality. A certain use can have a strong relation with an outcome in a different domain. Furthermore, those who achieve outcomes in one domain do not necessarily achieve outcomes in another domain. To get a comprehensive picture of the nature of digital exclusion, it is necessary to account for different domains in research.

The third-level digital divide: Who benefits most from being online?


Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen & Ellen J. Helsper ,


Publicación: Book Series: Studies in Media and Communications




Research into the explanations of digital inclusion has moved from investigations of skills and usage to tangible outcomes, what we label here as the third-level digital divide. There is a lack of theoretical development about which types of people are most likely to benefit. Understanding how achieving outcomes of internet use is linked to other types of (dis)advantage is one of the most complex aspects of digital inclusion research because very few reliable and valid measures have been developed. In the current study we took a first step toward creating an operational framework for measuring tangible outcomes of internet use and linking these to the inequalities identified by digital divide research.


After having proposed a classification for internet outcomes, we assessed these outcomes in a representative sample of the Dutch population.


Our overall conclusion in relation to the more general relationship between offline resources and third-level digital divides is that the internet remains more beneficial for those with higher social status, not in terms of how extensively they use the technology but in what they achieve as a result of this use for several important domains.

Social implications

When information and services are offered online, the number of potential outcomes the internet has to offer increases. If individuals with higher social status are taking greater offline advantage from digital engagement than their lower status counterparts, existing offline inequalities could potentially be acerbated.

Internet Skills, Sources of Support, and Benefiting From Internet Use

Alexander J. A. M. van Deursena, Cédric Courtoisb & Jan A. G. M. van Dijka


Publicación: International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction


Abstract: This study added communication Internet skills to an existing skill framework of operational, formal, information, and strategic skills. The study investigated how people deal with inadequate skill levels by identifying support sources. Furthermore, we investigated which of the Internet skills actually matter for attaining beneficial

Internet outcomes and whether support sources employed moderate these effects. Results of a large-scale survey revealed three support patterns: independents, social support seekers, and formal help seekers. The newly added communication skills prove to be an important addition because they have an independent effect on beneficial Internet use. The group of independent Internet users benefited more from Internet use than formal help seekers and much more than social support seekers. Internet communication

skills hold the potential for achieving a high degree of independence in using the Internet by compensating for information skills so as to attain beneficial Internet outcomes.