Getting things done: Inequalities, internet use and everyday life

2020-05-29T14:38:05Z (GMT) by Adrian Leguina John Downey
The study of mundane, everyday uses of the Internet remains an emerging field of inquiry. Analysing data from a large seven country survey of Internet use and adapting concepts and methods developed by Bourdieu, we show that there are distinct clusters of users who use the Internet in diverse ways to solve everyday problems such as buying a mobile phone or diagnosing an illness. Such everyday problem solving is dependent upon degrees of economic, social, digital and cultural capital, and varies across countries. A comparative methodological strategy combined the use of Multiple Correspondence Analysis, Hierarchical Cluster Analysis, and for the first time in the field, Multiple Factor Analysis for Contingency Tables. Extending the work of Bourdieu and the sociology of class more generally, we argue that digital capital functions as a bridging capital aiding the convertibility of other forms of capital to the benefit of already advantaged groups.