Yunmo Koo (Research Professor, Barun ICT Research Center, Yonsei University)
Joohyun Oh (Research Professor, Barun ICT Research Center, Yonsei University)
As smart phones, tablets, and other digital devices become more pervasive, theoretical arguments around digital divide, which has previously focused on “access,” is now expanding to effectively “utilize,” actively “produce” and “share” information. Such discussion is significant because the impact on inter-personal and social networks depends on how digital divides are used, which can then recreate or exacerbate social inequality structures. This study examines the effect of individual’s social relations and two types of social capital (i.e., bonding and bridging) on economic and socio-participatory usage of digital devices. An empirical analysis of dataset from 740 surveys reveals that the more horizontal the social relations of the individual, the more both bonding and bridging social capital increase. However, rather than the social relationship of the individual directly influencing the two types of digital device usage, it has an indirect effect on both economic and socio-participatory usage of digital devices. In particular, mediating effects of both bonding and bridging social capital exist in the case of economic usage of digital devices, whereas bonding social capital only has mediating effects on economic usage of digital devices. We discuss the role of social capital on digital devices usage and present the theoretical and practical implications.
Information Systems Review, Vol.21 No.3