Defining the Digital Divide in Russia: Key Features and Trends
Keywords:social inequality, digital divide, digital inequality, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), digital capital, modern Russian society
The article considers the key development trends of Russian society within the context of strategic goal of digitalization in all spheres of public life and, consequently, the reduction of the digital divide. The analysis of theoretical developments in the study of the digital divide allowed identifying the main challenges in defining this term. The authors attempted to systemize the basic approaches to its interpretation given the evolution of this phenomenon. The survey allowed the authors to highlight the specifics of the sociological study of the digital divide and digital inequality, including traditional forms of social inequality. The article considers three levels of the digital divide: the material basis providing primary access to information and communication technologies, digital skills, the level of digitalization of life, as well as life chances defined as the opportunities or advantages of technology use. Proceeding from statistics and secondary studies for 2017-2019, the authors conclude on the prospects for bridging the digital divide in modern Russia.
Acknolegments. The survey received financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research under project No. 18-011-01106 “New modes of social inequality and its peculiarities at the case of contemporary Russia".
Disclosure statement. The article was revised and supplemented on the basis of the Russian-language publication: Dobrinskaya D.E., Martynenko T.S. (2019) Perspectives of the Russian information society: Digital divide levels. RUDN Journal of Sociology. No 1. Vol. 19. P. 108-120. http://dx.doi.org/10.22363/2313-2272-2019-19-1-108-120 (In Russ.)