Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Barriers to Computer Use and Internet Competency Among Homeless Women and Low-Income Women At Risk of Becoming Homeless
by Wildman, Sondra L., M.A., Gonzaga University, 2010, 58; 1492739
Abstract (Summary)

As our society relies more and more on digital communication methods, the consequences of not having access to computers and the internet will further erode the ability of homeless women to effectively navigate mainstream venues for social and economic interaction. This study strives to explore the barriers that prevent homeless women, and low-income women at risk of becoming homeless, from optimizing their access to computer and internet resources. A group of fifty homeless women was observed using a computer lab at a daytime shelter, and of this group, five women were interviewed. The theoretical framework of the study utilizes Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of social capital, cultural capital and social reproduction. These theories illuminate the digital divide and its persistence, despite various programs to mitigate its effects. The results of the study show that social support from other technically sophisticated individuals is central to developing ICT competence among homeless women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crandall, Heather M.
Commitee: Popa, Adrian B.
School: Gonzaga University
Department: Communication and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Information Technology, Social structure
Keywords: Bourdieu, Homeless, Inequality, Internet, Women
Publication Number: 1492739
ISBN: 9781124652108
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