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THE TREND OF CLASS, RACE, AND ETHNICITY IN SOCIAL MEDIA INEQUALITY

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Blogs were the original poster child of digital democracy as an egalitarian public forum. Some scholars have challenged this theory of equality based on race and ethnicity, but no empirical analysis of American adults has questioned a class-based divide over time. Blogs, as a form of digital content production, appear to mirror other technological innovations in which a small elite group of users begin to incorporate them in their daily living after which the innovation spreads quickly to the general population, as with basic Internet access. However, the author argues that unlike this consumptive practice, blogging fits into a productive framework that requires more resources. Furthermore, most studies on blogging and inequality, in general, derive from samples of college students, which make it difficult to understand class issues. By drawing on 13 national surveys of American adults from 2002 to 2008, this study incorporates class differences and finds that an educational gap in blogging persists, rather than narrows, even among people who are online. Race and ethnicity do not have a relationship with class in accounting for the inequality.
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Keywords: class; digital inequality; digital production; ethnicity; lagged effect; race

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley, 410 Barrows HallBerkeley,CA,94720-1980, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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