Emancipatory Broadband Adoption: Toward a Critical Theory of Digital Inequality in the Urban United States
Drawing on 2 years of ethnographic research that included an engaged participant component, this article seeks to build a critical theory of technology adoption in urban communities. While the high cost of broadband Internet is undeniably an obstacle to adoption, we argue that solving the problem of cost is a necessary but not sufficient solution to the digital divide. To this end, the article contends that a community's relationship to communication technology—and their ability to see it as a political and cultural tool that can be utilized not just instrumentally, but more broadly as a way to fight poverty, inequality, and other forms of oppression—is a substantial factor leading to what we call emancipatory adoption.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Wolfson, T., Crowell, J., Reyes, C., & Bach, A. (2017). Emancipatory broadband adoption: Toward a critical theory of digital inequality in the urban United States. Communication, Culture and Critique, 10, 441-459. doi:10.1111/cccr.12166
Communication, Culture and Critique