Arguing the Digital Divide (RHE309k) is an undergraduate course in the Rhetoric and Writing Department at the University of Texas, taught by Jake Cowan. In this course, students closely exam a number of different digital divides: Their root causes, broad implications and differing responses. The class works to construct a vocabulary and a conceptual framework through which we can discuss the way the Internet and computer use is divided among places, people, participation and production dynamics. Informative, critical and influential articles introduce students to a variety of controversies within the larger topic, positions within those controversies, and stakeholders who hold those positions. We follow the origins of the term digital divide through its historical development, beginning with geographical, economic and political examples of technological inequality on both a micro and macro (local and global) level. With a basic background established, we then trace the term as it has been used to describe consumerist dynamics on the Internet, gaps in how new media literacy is (not) taught, and demographic divisions that have developed within Web 2.0.

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