on Study Skill Exercise
As the spread of the Internet has increased drastically over the last decade and revalutionized the globe many people start speculating about its future. One thing that cannot be denied, is that the influence and imporatnce of the Internet as an informational tool will continue to grow and develop. However, the increasing potential of the Internet technologies has brought up opposing arguments about its influence on the society. The “Internet question” has also been raised in Australia, where the opinions split.
The advocates argue that the Internet is the vehicle of equalization at the work place and in every day life. The nature of the Internet is strictly non-hierarchical and leads to a rise of horizontally structured organizations. That puts behind the hierarchical relations which used to be dominated by class and status, equalizing and undiscriminating the society.
Their opponents argue with them, by assuming that the Internet, like almost any other modern technology, advantages only privileged groups with higher income and disadvantages weak social categories. Willis and Tranter, the authors of “Beyond the ‘digital divide’: Internet diffusion and inequality in Australia” admit that the Internet in Australia has become widely used by all social categories. They also acknowledge that in the future the technological diffusion should increase this accessibility. However they strongly suggest that household income, age, education and occupation still remain the key determinants of the uneven Internet use. To support their argument and show that the Internet does not always bring equality, Willis and Tranter examine the social barriers to the Internet in Australia over the five-year period.
Willis and Tranter use national surveys to support their arguments. The surveys illustrate that in Australia there is an initially uneven spread of the Internet. And this uneven spread has an obvious socio-demographic divide between those who are the users of the Internet and those who are not. From the data provided in the article it can be seen that gender as well as age inequalities in using the Internet have largely disappeared. The conclusion driven from the data was that inequalities in the Internet use according to income and level of education persist but they are likely to decrease in importance. On the other hand household situation and geographic location seem to be more essential.
The evidence that is given in the article is convincing being proved by the national survey data. After taking a careful look at the article it can be seen that the Internet usage in Australia is uneven. That makes it clear, that the Internet cannot be expected to cause full equality.
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