n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - The digital divide and development communication theory : theory : research article

Volume 29, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



Recent theories about a global information society and the digital divide are rooted in older theories about mass media and development. A comparison between these theories shows that the main premises are still there: development is equated with economic growth, there is an enormous belief in the capacities of communication technologies to change a society, and the Western model is promoted as being universally applicable and the only unavoidable way forward. Thus the idea that closing the communication gap will also close the development divide is still alive. On the contrary, history shows that the communication gap and the digital divide are consequences of a more general development divide.

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