Patterns of digital uses among Israeli Arabs – between citizenship in modern society and traditional cultural roots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the digital divide between the Jewish majority and Arab minority in Israeli society as manifested by Internet access and patterns of use. The goals of this paper were to examine the digital divide between these two groups and to identify the factors that influence these gaps. The study is based on data from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Annual Social Survey, collected in 2011 through face-to-face interviews of 5872 interviewees aged 20–65 years. Jews were found to have an advantage over Arabs in terms of Internet access and in terms of the two types of uses: capital-enhancing and recreational. Our important conclusion is that, theoretically, with background variables being the same, the first-level digital divide between Jews and Arabs can be considered closed; in contrast, the second-level digital divide remains even if human resources in both groups are the same. This gives reason to assume that beyond the impact of human resources, the second-level digital divide between Jews and Arabs originated from their cultural background. Israeli Arabs are a unique minority indigenous group with two affinities – to Israeli modern society (because of citizenship) and to the Arab traditional world (because of their religious and cultural roots). Closing digital gaps requires changes in basic social, economic, and cultural aspects of the Arab sector on the individual level, i.e., personal motivation, as well as on the community level, including collective sociocultural preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-464
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2015


  • capital-enhancing uses
  • digital divide
  • national minorities
  • recreational uses

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Education


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