Digital Inequality on the US-Mexico Border: A Multigenerational Case Study in Laredo, Texas
AbstractThe purpose of the present study is to determine the cultural and social barriers that are preventing Laredoans from accessing the digital world. This multigenerational study examines how three generations within 16 families relate culturally and socially to technology. Three members from the same family were invited to voluntarily participate in the study, with a total of 48 in-depth, face-to-face interviews being conducted. The present study identified several barriers such as low educational level, low income, lack of English language proficiency, lack of relevant content available in other languages besides English, preference to communicate face-to-face, fear of violence, and endless working hours. Laredo is the least connected city in the nation with 40.2% non-connectivity rate. Research is needed to understand this digital inequity situation in this borderland city. The theoretical framework used is rooted on Straubhaar’s concepts of techno-field, techno-disposition, and techno-capital.
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