A Social Theory of Internet Uses Based on Consumption Scale and Linkage Needs

Jordi López-Sintas, Nela Filimon, Maria Ercilia García-Álvarez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The authors analyze the understudied relationship between social class and Internet-in-practice in the Spanish social space in order to develop a social theory of Internet use based on the concepts of scale of consumption, technological, social, and information linkage needs of individuals, and Bourdieu's suggested homology between the social and consumption spaces. The authors test their theory with interdependence methods of analysis, which are suitable methodological instrument for relating Internet uses to social structure through the concepts of scale and linkage needs. The authors' theory suggests that, since Internet uses are socially structured, the first-level digital divide may be reduced but will not disappear, and Internet uses will continue to differ (second-level digital divide). The theory not only explains Spaniards' Internet use and more recent empirical findings but also proposes answers to critical contemporary social questions regarding the use of digital technologies and the digital inequality debate. © SAGE Publications 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-129
    JournalSocial Science Computer Review
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


    • Digital divide
    • Internet uses
    • Social theory of consumption


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