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THE EFFECTS OF COLLEGE STUDENTS' SOCIAL BACKGROUND ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY- A CASE STUDY IN TAIWAN

G.S. Yang, L.C. Lin

Tungnan University (TAIWAN)
Sociologists have placed the focus on family background as the main explanation for the differential educational achievement of students. With the increased importance of personal computers, little attention has been paid to the study relevant to the effect of social background on young people's access to information technology. In this study, I was attempting to see the ways in which college students are using IT, and how the social background context affected usage in the specific social and educational contexts of Taiwan.

Result of the study revealed that there was evidence that students from families of low educational backgrounds were more deprived and more (IT). In addition, the poor family background with its implications-parents' incapability in supervising their children's access to computers and Internet and lack of knowledge in IT.susceptible to the influence of Information Technology.The findings are supportive of the digital divide and they imply that information technology may in fact be increasing.

The data of this research study, collected through questionnaires and interviews, has provided some evidence on effects of college students’ family background and circumstance on their access and use of IT. While substantial information was collected about factors like family income and parents’ educational level, which might have contributed to the impact on students’ access to IT, it remains to be seen how these factors may evolve in the future and to what extent these factors may have an effect on the students’ technological competencies.