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Feminist standpoints are forms of knowledge that serve as critical insight about how a dominant society thinks and structures itself in relation to the oppression of marginalized groups. This research discusses the use of Third World feminist epistemology as theory and method in gender digital divide research to establish the consciousness of Appalachian women left behind in the information society and to enable them to define how information and communication technologies can be used effectively and meaningfully in their struggles to improve their situations. This paper draws from findings of an ethnographic study that examines how women in West Virginia negotiate the complexity of their identities as mothers, wives and workers, alongside the structural factors that create the conditions for them to engage in computer learning and use. It also discusses how non-economic concerns become central in discussions about their experiences and lives and identifies opportunities that will help them transcend their marginalized positions.
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Keywords: ICTs; digital divide; gender; older people; research methodology; rural studies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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