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Why Does Internet Use Matter? Connecting Digital Inequality to Social Well-Being

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Abstract

Conference presentation abstract
Why Does Internet Use Matter? Connecting Digital
Inequality to Social Well-Being
Moritz Büchi
University of Zurich
August 14, 2017
The Internet is an important means to access the primary resource in the
information society, i.e., information. Since effective Internet use depends
on existing resources, it is socially stratified, potentially producing a digital
exacerbation of social inequality. This presentation will focus on the third
stage of digital inequality research, which asks what the consequences of
uneven access and differentiated use are. Users can find jobs and partners
online, or advance their education through online courses. At the same time,
the more intangible implications of the Internet’s omnipresence in everyday
life also require theoretical and empirical attention. The presentation draws
on several studies to proposes a framework that analyzes the effect of Internet
use on subjective social well-being. Internet-use related factors that may
impact well-being are introduced: digital skills, functional use, overuse, online
privacy, and social visibility.
m.buechi@ipmz.uzh.ch | http://moritzbuchi.com
This abstract was prepared for the “Mapping New Directions in Sociology of Social
Problems: Approaches, Methodologies and Social Contexts” conference to be held at the
Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw, October 5–6, 2017.
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