Title: Lost in cyberspace: barriers to bridging the digital divide in e-politics

Authors: Mack C. Shelley II, Lisa E. Thrane, Stuart W. Shulman

Addresses: Research Institute for Studies in Education, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, E005B Lagomarcino Hall, Ames, IA 50011-3196, USA. ' Wichita State University, 401 Lindquist Hall Wichita, KS 67260, USA. ' School of Information Sciences University of Pittsburgh, 121 University Place, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

Abstract: In our analysis of e-political participation among a 2003-random sample survey of 478 respondents drawn from Iowa, Pennsylvania and Colorado, six blocks of variables were entered: (1) socio-demographic (2) place effects, (3) voting, (4) technology use (VCR, cell phone, etc.) and computer apathy, (5) attitudes toward technology and (6) specific uses of the internet. In the final block, younger and White respondents are more apt to be e-citizens. Computer training apathy decreases, and IT advantages increase, support for e-citizenry. Seeking medical e-information and making e-purchases increases engagement in e-politics. No main effects of place are found. For Colorado and Iowa residents, less-engaged voters reported less online political engagement, while those who are more likely to vote are also more likely to be advocates of e-politics. The final model explains 56% of the variation in e-government participation.

Keywords: barriers; digital divide; e-politics; electronic politics; IT attitudes; internet; information technology; enterprise management; regions; technology use; voting; political participation; e-democracy; electronic democracy; e-citizens; computer training; e-government; electronic government.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIEM.2006.010916

International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2006 Vol.4 No.3, pp.228 - 243

Published online: 17 Sep 2006 *

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