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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Computer Usage Patterns of African American Female College Students: A Comparison of Digital Divide Perceptions and Reality

Stephen Trotter.

The current research explores differences in computer usage patterns as a function of race. Thirty white female and 30 black female students were surveyed in regard to their respective patterns. The patterns included time, sites visited, racial factors in selection of sites and lastly commentary addressing the effects of online experiences on their lives. In contrast to the vast majority of digital divide data available black female students did not appear to be disenfranchised nor less computer literate than their white counterparts. They spend as much time on the internet as their counterparts and reported equal success in accessing information. It appears that at least insofar as graduate students go the digital divide may be more of a crack than a canyon. In contrast to the expected outcome the black students reported spending more time on the internet. They appeared to have equal access to hight speed internet connections. In addition., they reported more time spent on scholarly activity and less time on online shopping than their white cohorts. All of this is in marked contrast to the media blitz that suggests blacks are disenfranchised when it comes to computer access and online usage.


Stephen Trotter  (United States)
Associate Professor

Tennessee State University

Stephen E. Trotter,Ph.D. Stephen F. Austin State University B.S., University of Houston, M.S. & University of Utah, Ph.D. Graduate School Faculty Tennessee State University.

  • Digital Divide

(30 min Conference Paper, English)