- SSMS 2135
Professor of Communication, UC Santa Barbara
Ronald E. Rice, Department of Communication, UC Santa Barbara
Extending a digital divide framework, this study analyzes the influences on and relations among awareness, adoption, and (frequent) use of the Internet in three former Soviet republics -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Nationally representative survey samples in each country in 2011 fit a combined model predicting that age, economic wellbeing, education, urbanness, and English language proficiency all generally influence each of the three Internet stages. Age, education, and urbanness are the primary determinants of awareness of the Internet. The greatest divide was between non-adoption and adoption. Language skill is the second most important determinant of adoption, and the most important influence on use. Despite growing Internet adoption in these states, inequality remains, based on socio-demographic and economic status at each Internet stage. Further, for these linguistically isolated states, English language skill being a strong influence on adoption and Internet usage indicates a further divide between elites and non-elites.