Internet Access and Use in Context

Authors: Eszter Hargittai

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Citation: Hargittai, E. (2004). Internet Access and Use in Context. New Media and Society. 6(1), 137-143.


Over the past five years, thousands of articles have appeared in academic journals about new media, the Internet and the web. The topics range from identity expression in online communities to how new media may affect political participation and voter turnout. The range of questions is both overwhelming and exciting. At the core of all these explorations lies a more basic question, however: Who uses new media and — equally important– who does not It is an important baseline measure for putting into the appropriate context all other studies of new media use. In this short review piece, I look at three books that consider the “digital divide” at different levels and focus on different dimensions of access and use and offer thoughts on how this research agenda needs to move forward.


  • Introduction
  • Internet Use in the United States
  • International Comparisons of Internet Use
  • Internet Users in Lesser Developed Countries
  • Directions for Future Research

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