Digital divide and marginalized women during COVID-19: a study of women recently released from prison
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
MetadataShow full item record
ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgency to bridge the digital divide, as those without reliable internet, adequate devices, and digital literacy skills were severely disadvantaged when most essential activities moved online. This study examines how the pandemic has affected women recently released from jail or prison, a group that was already at a disadvantage in terms of digital access and skills even before the pandemic. Our interviews with 45 women in transition show that their lack of stable access to the internet and digital devices during the pandemic influenced their post-incarceration supervision requirements, job applications, educational opportunities, and others. These women navigated the challenges by working with their social connections (e.g., friends and neighbors) and relying on emergency resources deployed by local institutions during the pandemic. Those staying in transitional houses before being fully released into communities indicated that they often depended on facility staff or family/friends in the community for pandemic-related information due to their limited access to the internet in those facilities. These and other findings from this research provide insights into the technological challenges and needs of marginalized women during the public health crisis.
Blomberg, M., Altschwager, D., Seo, H., Booton, E., & Nwachukwu, M. (2021). Digital divide and marginalized women during COVID-19: A study of women recently released from jail. Information, Communication and Society, 24(14), 2113-2132. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2021.1963462
Items in KU ScholarWorks are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
We want to hear from you! Please share your stories about how Open Access to this item benefits YOU.