Digital divide reflects the persistence of class contradictions; it is not alienated from the prevailing social structure. In a way, recognizing the existence of digital divide provides a certain perspective in assessing the reality of the current global socio-economic and political situation.
Ever since the expropriation of the means of production, only a privileged few benefit from capital. Technology continues to flourish, yet, the relations between the ruling and ruled class remains. Since we are in the 'information age', now we also have information capital. Just the same, the gap between the information-rich and the information-poor is ever-widening.
Through the internet, information was somehow democratized. Anyone can generate and use content. On the other hand, since the availability of technology is still elusive to the majority, the wealth of information is still out of reach for most. There are commendable stories and cases wherein technology boosted the economic conditions of impoverished communities. However, these are still exceptions to the rule.
Technology alone would not solve the digital divide. Having access to information is one thing but converting information into something tangible is another. Technology could aide but not solve relevant political and social problems. The efforts in making information and technology available for more people should continue but it should not stop there. The complexity of poverty, as explained in our Unit 1 readings, entails painstaking change in different societal and political aspects. The eradication of this digital divide is an inevitable corollary of resolving the root causes of poverty.
(Cross-posted from one of my BAMS classes)