The Rawls-Tawney theorem and the digital divide in postindustrial society.

Duff, Alistair (2011) The Rawls-Tawney theorem and the digital divide in postindustrial society. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 62 (3). pp. 604-612.

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The digital divide continues to challenge political and academic circles worldwide. A range of policy solutions is briefly evaluated, from laissez-faire on the right to “arithmetic” egalitarianism on the left. The article recasts the digital divide as a problem for the social distribution of presumptively important information (e.g., electoral data, news, science) within postindustrial society. Endorsing in general terms the left-liberal approach of differential or “geometric” egalitarianism, it seeks to invest this with greater precision, and therefore utility, by means of a possibly original synthesis of the ideas of John Rawls and R. H. Tawney. It is argued that, once certain categories of information are accorded the status of “primary goods,” their distribution must then comply with principles of justice as articulated by those major 20th century exponents of ethical social democracy. The resultant Rawls-Tawney theorem, if valid, might augment the portfolio of options for interventionist information policy in the 21st century

Item Type: Article
Electronic ISSN: 1532 2890
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rawls-Tawney theorem; digital divide; social distribution; information policy;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 303 Social processes
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Item ID: 4176
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 16:04
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2012 10:45

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