Strivers 2.0: Digital Inequalities, Channel Preferences, & Opportunity Structures
Robinson, Laura (2011) Strivers 2.0: Digital Inequalities, Channel Preferences, & Opportunity Structures. pp. 1-24. In: Proceedings of the A DECADE IN INTERNET TIME: OII SYMPOSIUM ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE INTERNET AND SOCIETY, 21 - 24 September 2011, University of Oxford.
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This article begins to shed light on how information capital informs the use of new media for information seeking and evaluation. Drawing on material culled from focus group interviews with high school students in an agricultural region of California, this article examines highly motivated information seekers called “Strivers.” Strivers are committed to academic excellence in preparation for college. However, while they share the same goals, not all Strivers have access to the same informational resources. Access to new media, traditional media, and social networks all contribute to Strivers’ information capital, which in turn informs their encounters with information in online venues. To reveal the deep and deleterious impact of informational inequality as it relates to digital inequality, Strivers are examined in light of their normative access to informational resources. Analysis reveals that Strivers’ use of new media is alternately enhanced or diminished by access to other informational resources used in tandem with digital technologies. Most important, the article reveals that information capital is critical to the development of strategies towards online information seeking and information evaluation. Further, multi-channel information strategies are ultimately internalized by MCIS Agentic Strivers as the ability to evaluate information as experts. By contrast, ERIS Dependent Strivers internalize educator-reliant strategies as necessary to validate information with expert opinions other than their own.
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