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Digital Inequality Among Gen Y in the U.S. - a Barrier for Young Job Seekers MA Thesis project (work in progress) Linda Harnisch MA North-American Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Digital Inequality Among Gen Y in the U.S. - a Barrier for Young Job Seekers MA Thesis project (work in progress) Linda Harnisch MA North-American Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Digital Inequality Among Gen Y in the U.S. - a Barrier for Young Job Seekers MA Thesis project (work in progress) Linda Harnisch MA North-American Studies at the John-F. Kennedy Institute Department of Sociology MA Colloquium Sociology Jan MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

2 What are my interests? Research thesis for the project Questions guiding the project Introduction: approaching the digital divide Framework for examining digital disparities Among Gen Y Outlook ▫Empirical evidence for digital disparities ▫The rise of digital hiring practices and the impact of digital disparities Questions + challenges 1 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

3 Interests Very broad: The digital divide in American society Focus: Gen Y | Millennial Generation > a demographic group that is supposed to be highly wired on the “right side” of the digital divide in access to ICT (information and communication technologies) The impact of digital disparities on modern – oftentimes web-based - forms of job-hunting/career networking Leaving out of consideration technology’s potential to enhance economic opportunity for eg. advancement in jobs or life long-learning 2 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

4 Research Thesis and Questions Thesis Exposing the myth of “digital natives”: The concept (myth) of America’s Generation Y as “Digital Natives”, that is a cohort of highly wired, savy enthusiasts and experts, has to be revised. Digital inequalities among the “Millennial Digital Natives” exist, but it surpasses issues of access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT). ICT use does matter: ▫The internet has developed as an incredible source for learning about the labor market, applying for jobs and career networking. ▫Digital Disparities are a barrier for young people in their job-hunting and development of personal online brand 3 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

5 Research Thesis and Questions Questions How do researchers theorize the digital divide? How has the concept evolved? Is there a digital divide among “Millennials” in the U.S. and what does it look like? Understanding why the phenomenon exists: What are the possible sources of these inequalities? Does ICT use matter? Modern job hunting: searching for jobs and networking offline and online ▫how do young adults learn about jobs and what is the Internet’s role in this process? ▫Which dynamic/trend is looming ahead when it comes to employers? Are they still relying on traditional practices and resources? ▫where do digital inequalities come into play? E.g. privacy issues and social media, information searches, creating content, online resume, 4 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

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7 US Department of Commerce (1995), Falling Through the Net. A Survey of “Have Nots” in Rural and Urban America.Falling Through the Net. A Survey of “Have Nots” in Rural and Urban America US Department of Commerce (1999), Falling Through the Net. Defining the Digital Divide.Falling Through the Net. Defining the Digital Divide. “Until every home can afford access to information resources, however, we will need public policies and private initiatives to expand affordable access to those resources. The Clinton Administration is committed to connecting all Americans to the National Information Infrastructure. Pro-competition policies, to reduce the prices of basic phone and information services, and universal service policies will continue to be important parts of the solution” See also: Pippa Norris (2001), Digital Divide. Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. 6

8 “The term “digital divide” (…) is most often understood in binary terms: someone either has access to the medium or does not, someone either uses the Internet or does not. However, as an increasing portion of the population has gone online, a dichotomous approach is no longer sufficient to address the different dimensions of inequality associated with digital media use. The term digital inequality better captures the spectrum of differences associated with ICT use” Eszter Hargittai. “The Digital Reproduction of Inequality”. Social Stratification. Ed. David Grusky (Boulder, Co: Westview Press, 2008). 7

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10 9 “The Digital World has never existed in a bubble, insulated from the social tensions and economic inequalities that are integral to the making and remaking of the social world. Life online has always been intricately though never predictably connected to life off-line” S. Craig Watkins (2013), The Young and the Digital, p.76f.

11 Van Diijk: Different Access to ICTs as the New Source of Inequality Core part of the causal model of resources and appropriation theory Source: Jan Van Dijk, “A Theory of the Digital Divide”, in: The Digital Divide. The Internet and Social Inequality in international perspective. Ed. Massimo Ragnedda (London, Routledge: 2013), p MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

12 Van Diijk: Four Kinds of Access in the Appropriation of Digital Technology MOTIVATION PHYSICAL AND MATERIAL ACCESS DIGITAL SKILLS -STRATEGIC -INFORMATION/CO MMUNICATION -OPERATIONAL USAGE - DIVERSITY 11 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

13 Empirical Evidence For the Digital Divide The Rise of Digital Hiring Practices MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14 12

14 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14 13 Motivation Material Access Who is online? Where do they access the internet? How do they go online? (device ownership) Why don’t you go online?” Relevance of the Internet, price- related issues, lacking know-how Skills Usage Influence of skill on usage Variations in purpose for which ICT is used (e.g. “capital- enhancing” activities vs recreational) Social media, participatory tools of the web Digital Divide Research on Teens and Young Adults is focusing on… Technological Literacy - Technical Competencies - Information Literacy

15 Further Concept Statistical Profile of young workers in the U.S Role of offline and online career resources in the job search process Job Seeking as part of Youth Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS) Reflecting on online job hunting and digital divides Employment and Unemployment situation How has the landscape of hiring practices changed? Job seeking methods – job search trends How do the digital inequalities impact young people's life chances, that is translate into inequalities regarding job seeking among young adult job seekers? Who is missing out? Recession EffectsHow has the Internet and Social media changed the job search? How do young adults learn about jobs in the context of a growing proliferation of Internet-based resources? How will Millenials transform or add to the workfore (future predictions)? What about the perspective of employers, HR personnel and recruiters? Incorporating Social Media into the Job Search - Risks and Advantages MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14 14

16 Key Literature (so far) Digital Divide Approaches Paul DiMaggio, Eszter Hargittai, W. Russel Neuman and John Robinson (2001) “Social implications of the Internet”, Annu. Rev. Sociol Vol. 27 Eszter Hargittai (2008)“The Digital Reproduction of Inequality”. Social Stratification. Ed. David Grusky (Boulder, Co: Westview Press, 2008) Eszter Hargittai (2001), “Second-Level Digital Divide: Mapping Differences in People’s Online Skills, firstmonday Vol. 7 No. 4 K. Mossberger, C.J. Tolbert, M. Stansbury (2003) Virtual Ineqiuality. Beyond the Digital Divide. Pippa Norris (2001), Digital Divide. Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide Mark Prensky (2001), “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”, On the Horizon Vol. 9 No 5 Mark Prensky (2006), “Listen to the Natives”, Educational Leadership Vol 63 No 4 US Department of Commerce (1995), Falling Through the Net. A Survey of “Have Nots” in Rural and Urban America US Department of Commerce (1999), Falling Through the Net. Defining the Digital Divide. Jan Van Dijk, “A Theory of the Digital Divide”, in: The Digital Divide. The Internet and Social Inequality in international perspective (2013) Craig Watkins (2009), The Young and The Digital. MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14 15

17 Empirical Evidence for Digital Divides Among Gen Y June Ahn (2012), “Teenagers and Social Network Sites: Do Offline Inequalities Predict Their Online Social Networks?”, firstmonday, Vol 17 No 1-2. Teresa Correa, Sun Ho Jeong (2010), “Race and Online Content Creation. Why Minorities are Actively Participating in the Web”, Information, Communication and Society, Vol 14 No 5. Maeve Duggan, Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center (2013), Social Media Update 2013, Pew Research Centre. Eszter Hargittai (2008), Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Vol. 13. Eszter Hargittai (2010)“Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses amng Members of the “Net Generation”, Sociological Inquiry Vol. 80 No.1. Eszter Hargittai, Amanda Hinnant (2008), “Digital Inequality. Differences in Young Adults’ Use of the Internet”, Communication Research, Vol 35 No 5 Philip E.N. Howard (2001), “Days and Nights on the Internet: The Impact of a Diffusing Technology”, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol 45 No.3. Linda A. Jackson (2008), “Race, Gender, and Information Technology Use: The New Digital Divide”, Cyber Psychology and Behavior, Vol. 11 No 4. Laura Robinson (2011), “Strivers 2.0: Digital Inequalities, Channel Preferences & Opportunity Structures”, Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. Craig Watkins (2009), The Young and The Digital. MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14 16

18 Questions, Challenges Focus on college students and graduates concerning ELIS and job search – should I try and limit investigation on digital divide on students? Should I get “my own” data, i.e. through a survey, interviews (Q&A interviews with HR personnel, Career counselors at colleges/universities); ▫The procedure (survey? Analysis of the data) 17 MA-Kolloquium Soziologie WS 2013/14

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