Cyberspace: Connected or segregated? Examining virtual segregation among Hong Kong Internet users

Fei Li, Donggen WANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we discuss how cyberspace has been interwoven in the geographies of social stratification and segregation nowadays. It conceptualizes 'virtual segregation' as an extension of the 'digital divide' and sociospatial segregation in urban spaces. A case study was conducted in Hong Kong in 2010, when 770 Internet users were surveyed. A comparison of their patterns of Internet use shows that these individuals, all of whom possess devices and Internet access, have varied levels of connectivity in cyberspace. A typology of Internet users was then derived from the perspective of virtual segregation. The findings suggest that people may be stratified and segregated in cyberspace in similar ways to the physical world, and that segregation studies should pay more attention to virtual segregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-340
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Digital divide
  • Hong Kong
  • Internet users
  • Virtual segregation

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