An Upward Spiral Model: Bridging and Deepening Digital Divide

  • Biyang YuEmail author
  • Ana Ndumu
  • Lorraine Mon
  • Zhenjia Fan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10766)


The digital divide is a global problem that impacts an individual’s ability to participate in society. To address disparate and conflicting theories on the dynamics of the digital divide, the researchers proposed an integrated upward spiral model that explains how digital divides are both alleviated and deepened. The researchers then utilized an existing 2014–2015 dataset comprised of 398 survey responses and nine interview responses from Chinese migrant workers to test the viability of this model. Two hypotheses suggested based on the upward spiral model were supported by path analysis and supplemental qualitative analysis of the data: 1. A path traced causal relationship exists among forces, resources, access, e-acceptance, and e-inclusion and 2. Situational e-inclusion initiates forces, which in turn facilitates resources and access, and prompts ongoing cycles of situational e-inclusion. The results support that a comprehensive upward spiral model can be utilized as an analytical framework to explain the reasons and extents to which the digital divide phenomenon exists in society.


E-inclusion Upward spiral model Deepening digital divide 


  1. 1.
    van Dijk, J.A.G.M.: The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Billon, M., Marco, R., Lera-Lopez, F.: Disparities in ICT adoption: a multidimensional approach to study the cross-country digital divide. Telecommun. Policy 33, 596–610 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Yu, L.: The divided views of the information and digital divides: a call for integrative theories of information inequality. J. Inf. Sci. 37, 660–679 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yu, B., Ndumu, A., Liu, J., Fan, Z.: E-inclusion or digital divide: an integrated model of digital inequality. Proc. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 53, 1–5 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    eEurope Advisory Group: e-Inclusion: new challenges and policy recommendations. eEurope Advisory Group (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, I.Y.: The factors influencing members’ continuance intentions in professional virtual communities - a longitudinal study. J. Inf. Sci. 33, 451–467 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B., Davis, F.D.: User acceptance of information technology: toward a unified view. MIS Q. 27, 425–478 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    De Haan, J.: A multifaceted dynamic model of the digital divide. It Soc. 1, 66–88 (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Keung, W., Fu, D., Li, C.Y., Song, H.X.: Rural migrant workers in urban China: living a marginalised life. Int. J. Soc. Welf. 16, 32–40 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Nankai UniversityTianjinChina

Personalised recommendations