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Digital Divides in Europe

Culture, Politics and the Western-Southern Divide

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Panayiota Tsatsou

This book examines the hotly debated subject of digital divides and specifically addresses the Western-Southern divide in Europe. It offers insights into selected countries of Southern and Western Europe – Greece, Portugal and the UK – and assesses the role of socio-cultural and decision-making parameters in the Western-Southern divide. It explores ordinary people’s insights into the digital divide and links them to the role policymakers and regulators play in the development of the information society. Thus, it offers an innovative approach that crosses disciplines and brings new media studies closer to cultural studies and the study of politics. The study identifies the role of decision-making and socio-cultural parameters in the Western-Southern divide in Europe and concludes that this divide should be seen as a ladder of divides influenced by a complex set of socio-cultural and policy/regulatory factors. The book reaches significant case-specific conclusions for the Western-Southern divide and argues that it is its profoundly socio-cultural and political/regulatory nature, while highlighting the implications for the European information society as a whole.
Panayiota Tsatsou was born in 1976 in Greece. She is a lecturer in Media and Communication at Swansea University, United Kingdom. Her research lies in the areas of information society, media policy and regulation, political communication, media and gender, and new media and children. Her research work examines various phenomena in relation to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), with an emphasis on regulation and policy creation, as well as on the role of ordinary people as ICT users and actors in the information society. Her publications aim to report on innovative and evidence-based solutions to issues arising in the information society. She currently holds an AHRC award to study digital inclusion among minority communities in Wales.