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Stratification issues in the use computers in the United States, 1984-- 1997

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Susan Kathleen Burke
Научный руководитель: Joyce Williams
Организация: Texas Woman's University
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

Using a framework that examined stratification from an intersection of sex, race/ethnicity, age, and socio-economic factors (SES), this study traces the development of computer use and ownership from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Current Population Survey data from 1984, 1989, 1993, and 1997 are analyzed using descriptive statistics. The most interesting finding was that respondents who used work computers were much more likely to own and use home computers. This impact was affected, however, by occupation, education level, and race/ethnicity. In the highest SES there were few differences in work computer use by race/ethnicity and sex. At bachelors degree and above, men and women use computers at work at the same rates, but at lower education levels women are more likely to use work computers than men. Whites were more likely to use computers at work than non-Whites particularly at lower education levels and in blue-collar employment. Although SES factors had the strongest impact on home computer ownership, this impact was modified by sex, race/ethnicity, and age. When SES was controlled, employed men and women owned home computers at the same rates in all the years of the study (within 6%). Whites owned home computers at higher rates than Blacks or Hispanics at all education levels, income levels, and occupation categories. In fact, gaps between ownership rates of Whites and non-Whites have increased dramatically since 1984. Occupation and education level affected home computer use for those respondents who owned computers. While income affected home computer ownership, it did not affect home computer use. When SES was controlled, there were few differences in home computer use by sex and race/ethnicity by 1997. It is important to keep in mind that, not only do Whites have a computer advantage in most situations even when SES is controlled, but Whites are also much more likely than Blacks or Hispanics to be high SES, thus exacerbating inequalities.

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