Resistance to New Technologies: The Information and Communication Technologies Case in Spain

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: Booth 44
Oral Presentation
Cristóbal TORRES-ALBERO , Sociology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Carlos Jesus FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ , Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
Josep A. LOBERA , Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Ramón MAHIA-CASADO , Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
Stefano DE MARCO , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Mirko ANTINO , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
This paper summarises a study that analyses the surveys of different data bank containing data about social representations on science and technology in Spain, and specifically on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Based on these previous studies we conclude that, contrary to traditional theories of a uniform, positive image, there is significant ambivalence towards technoscience among citizens in advanced contemporary societies. This theory was confirmed both for social representations of technoscience in general and for ICTs in particular. On these results, our paper will show the precise mechanism that these technophobic or ambivalent social representations intervene in processes of individual appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies and its and its implications for the creation of the digital divide. Without denying the relevance of sociodemographic and psychological usual variables, the paper will highlight the importance of such social images about the technoscience and ICTs in the genesis and development of digital divide. In addition to the surveys of different data bank, we will also provide empirical evidence from a study about spanish citizenship which have used both qualitative methods (with in-depth interviews and focus groups) and quantitative methods (using a representative survey). Finally, we will consider the consequences of this new explanatory approach to the use of ICT and the digital divide has for the processes of social exclusion in contemporary information and knowledge societies.