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The complexity of using commercial forces to counteract the digital divide: A case study of the TUC of Sweden

Chapter in book
Authors Agneta Ranerup
Published in Digital cities II. Computational and sociological approaches. eds. Tanabe, M., van den Besselaar, P. and Ishida, T.
Pages 191-202
ISBN 3-540-43963-3
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin
Publication year 2002
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Informatics
Pages 191-202
Language en
Keywords Internet, democracy, e-democracy, digital divide
Subject categories Media and Communication Technology, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Abstract

This article deals with the tension between comercial aims and activities and more democratic and idealistic ones in projects that are pursued to counteract the "digital divide". The article focuses on a project; "Access Kumla" initiated by the TUC of Sweden. The project is characterized as a very ambitious initiative to counteract the digital divide. Its four aims can be summarized as follows: providing citizens with high quality, low cost computers, crrating a Community Network, providing knowledge about IT and improving local democracy with the help of IT. In our project the complex role of comercial activities and forces is emphasized. Firtsly, the emphasize the importance of finacial autonomy from a short-time as well as a long-time perspective. A further result is the surprisingly high degree of harmony or absence of conflict as regards the various aims and activities in the project. The most noticeable exception concerned the role of the TUC, especially in connection with the commercial activities in the project.

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