Informed Web Surfing: The Social Context of User Sophistication

Authors: Eszter Hargittai

Download: PDF (961 KB)

Citation: Hargittai, E. (2003). Informed Web Surfing: The Social Context of User Sophistication. In Society Online I. Edited by P. Howard and S. Jones. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 257-274.


  • Introduction
  • Web Use in Social Context
  • Studies of Web Searching
  • Methodology
  • Data
  • Conclusion


I thank Paul DiMaggio for his insightful comments throughout this project, Stan Katz for his ongoing support, and Erica Field and Hank Farber for helpful discussions. I am also grateful to Inna Barmash, James Chu, Jeremy Davis-Turak, Edward Freeland, Anne healy, Veronica McRipley, Carolyn Mordas, and Katy Niner for their assistance with various components of the project. I also express my gratitude to the many people who took time from their busy schedules to participate in the study. Generous support from the Markle Foundation is kindly acknowledged. The project has also been supported in part by National Science Foundation Grants SES9819907 and ITR0086143, a grant from the Russel Sage Foundation, and a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University. I am also grateful to the Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars at Princeton.

Note: You may not post a copy of the article pdf on any Web sites or distribute it on any mailing lists. You can point people to its online location here:

If you would like to copy, distribute or reprint this paper “for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research” (see Title 17, US Copyright Code) then please contact the publisher to secure permission.