Internetnutzung in der ländlichen Gesellschaft

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Information and communication technologies, especially the internet, are rapidly diffusing throughout today’s (western) societies. However, not all population groups and not all geographical areas are participating equally in this process. While a number of theories argue that information and communication technologies allow people to interact despite distance and physical absence (“death of distance”), empirical results for Germany show a consistent gap between internet use in metropolitan and rural areas. This “digital divide” may stem from differences in education, income and other household attributes as well as from technology differences in internet connectivity. Network effects turn out to be an important enhancing factor with regard to the individual probability of becoming an Internet user. These empirical results show that even if information and communication technologies present new possibilities to access and to diffuse knowledge independent of location, local proximity plays an important role for certain modes of knowledge generation and distribution. In recent years, several programs have been launched by the German government as well as by the European Commission that aim to reduce the regional differences with regard to access and use of new technologies. These are accompanied by some local programs specifically targeting wider Internet diffusion and IT competencies in rural regions.
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Verlag DLG-Verlag
  
  
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