First and second wave digital divide research underemphasizes the digital labor force divide and overestimates the impact of access to and skill in digital technology. Such emphasis deprives digital divide scholarship of its democratizing potential by muting structural critique and recasting the divide as a problem of diffusion. To the extent that it promotes diffusion over equality, the digital divide debate serves marketing rather than socially constructive ends. This article argues that improved technical training and access cannot overcome the digital labor force divide, because gaps in pay, security, and dignity cleave the high-tech job market. Examination of the high-tech labor force in Seattle demonstrates the need to foreground the digital labor force divide. Eliminating economic and political disparities requires us to work through the digital workforce divide rather than labor underneath it.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science