Are the economically poor information poor? Does the digital divide affect the homeless and access to information?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julia A Hersberger, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Homeless persons lack economic capital, but it is less clear whether they concomitantly lack important information capital. The basic information needed by the homeless is not available on the Internet as this is information controlled by governmental social services agencies, but does this result in a state of information poverty? This paper examines the issues of how the lack of access to information technology does not affect how the homeless access basic-needs-level information. The study investigates the information needs of the homeless, information sources, and information-seeking behaviours within the analytical constructs of information outsiders and insiders and the theory of information poverty posed by Chatman (1996). The study explores the differences in information seeking pursuits based on whether the catalyst for the search is internally or externally motivated. Finally, the paper speculates on whether making basic level needs information available via the Internet would be useful and/or used.

Additional Information

Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 27(3) September, 44-63
Language: English
Date: 2002
Homeless, access, information, technology, information-seeking, outsiders, insiders, information poverty, Internet, digital divide

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