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Ethnographic Interviews on the Digital Divide
Unformatted Document Text:  Ethnographic Interviews 18 I think it’s [the digital divide] really sad. I wish I could help the situation but I wouldn’t have any idea about how to go about to help. Ah, but I think somewhere along the line we’ve lost -- our system has lost -- what’s right is right for everybody and what’s wrong is wrong for everybody. I don’t care if you have a million dollars, or you have two cents. It shouldn’t matter. It should be for everybody. It’s never going to be that way. You can go to the library and use one, though. I mean, as long as they’re in places, I mean you can’t give everybody a computer. But I think the system is so out of whack as to who earns what, as to who has what. And that’s not good. In this contradictory response to the question of the digital divide, we witness a sense of self-reliance and agency in her “wish” that she could “help” solve problems of the digital divide, and an affirmation of how this position echoes contemporary information policy in her sense that people could “go to the library and use one” because “you can’t give everybody a computer.” Nevertheless, Molly also expressed concern that “our system” doesn’t treat people equally when they have differing economic means; as she said, “the system is so out of whack as to who earns what, as to who has what. And that’s not good.” Molly’s references to “the system,” as well as Anna Lally’s and Megan Sealy’s restatement of the digital divide in terms of what they believe are persistent class differences, suggest a different narrative strategy that is not completely contained within individualism. It is, we argue, a largely delegitimated critique specifically related to their own experiences of economic disadvantage. Furthermore, while not named as such, the critique echoes the concerns of Marxism. Embedded in their recognition of differential

Authors: Clark, Lynn., Demont-Heinrich, Christof. and Webber, Scott.
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Ethnographic Interviews 18
I think it’s [the digital divide] really sad. I wish I could help the situation but I
wouldn’t have any idea about how to go about to help. Ah, but I think somewhere
along the line we’ve lost -- our system has lost -- what’s right is right for
everybody and what’s wrong is wrong for everybody. I don’t care if you have a
million dollars, or you have two cents. It shouldn’t matter. It should be for
everybody. It’s never going to be that way. You can go to the library and use one,
though. I mean, as long as they’re in places, I mean you can’t give everybody a
computer. But I think the system is so out of whack as to who earns what, as to
who has what. And that’s not good.
In this contradictory response to the question of the digital divide, we witness a sense of
self-reliance and agency in her “wish” that she could “help” solve problems of the digital
divide, and an affirmation of how this position echoes contemporary information policy
in her sense that people could “go to the library and use one” because “you can’t give
everybody a computer.” Nevertheless, Molly also expressed concern that “our system”
doesn’t treat people equally when they have differing economic means; as she said, “the
system is so out of whack as to who earns what, as to who has what. And that’s not
good.”
Molly’s references to “the system,” as well as Anna Lally’s and Megan Sealy’s
restatement of the digital divide in terms of what they believe are persistent class
differences, suggest a different narrative strategy that is not completely contained within
individualism. It is, we argue, a largely delegitimated critique specifically related to their
own experiences of economic disadvantage. Furthermore, while not named as such, the
critique echoes the concerns of Marxism. Embedded in their recognition of differential


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