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Inequity in the Technopolis

Over the past few decades, Austin, Texas, has made a concerted effort to develop into a "technopolis," becoming home to companies such as Dell and numerous start-ups in the 1990s. It has been a model for other cities across the nation that wish to become high-tech centers while still retaining the livability to attract residents. Nevertheless, this expansion and boom left poorer residents behind, many of them African American or Latino, despite local and federal efforts to increase lower-income and minority access to technology. This book was born of a ten-year longitudinal study of the digital divide in Austin-a study that gradually evolved into a broader inquiry into Austin's history as a segregated city, its turn toward becoming a technopolis, what the city and various groups did to address the digital divide, and how the most disadvantaged groups and individuals were affected by those programs. The editors examine the impact of national and statewide digital inclusion programs created in the 1990s, as well as what happened when those programs were gradually cut back by conservative administrations after 2000. They also examine how the city of Austin persisted in its own efforts for digital inclusion by working with its public libraries and a number of local nonprofits, and the positive impact those programs had.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Chapter 1. Digital Inequity in the Austin Technopolis: An Introduction, by Joseph Straubhaar, Zeynep Tufekci, Jeremiah Spence, and Viviana Rojas Chapter 2. Structuring Race in the Cultural Geography of Austin, by Jeremiah Spence, Joseph Straubhaar, Alexander Cho, and Dean Graber Chapter 3. A History of High Tech and the Technopolis in Austin, by Lisa Hartenberger, Zeynep Tufekci, and Stuart Davis Chapter 4. Past and Future Divides: Social Mobility, Inequality, and the Digital Divide in Austin during the Tech Boom, by Zeynep Tufekci Chapter 5. The Digital Divide: The National Debate and Federal- and State-Level Programs, by Ed Lenert, Miyase Christensen, Zeynep Tufekci, and Karen Gustafson Chapter 6. Crossing the Digital Divide: Local Initiatives in Austin, by Carolyn Cunningham, Holly Custard, Joseph Straubhaar, Jeremiah Spence, Dean Graber, and Bethany Letalien Chapter 7. Structuring Access: The Role of Austin Public Access Centers in Digital Inclusion, by Roberta Lentz, Joseph Straubhaar, Laura Dixon, Dean Graber, Jeremiah Spence, Bethany Letalien, and Antonio LaPastina Chapter 8. Bridging the Broadband Gap or Recreating Digital Inequalities? The Social Shaping of Public Wi-Fi in Austin, by Martha Fuentes-Bautista and Nobuya Inagaki Chapter 9. Communities, Cultural Capital, and Digital Inclusion: Ten Years of Tracking Techno-Dispositions and Techno-Capital, by Viviana Rojas, Joseph Straubhaar, Jeremiah Spence, Debasmita Roychowdhury, Ozlem Okur, Juan Pinon, and Martha Fuentes-Bautista Chapter 10. Conclusion, by Joseph Straubhaar Contributors Index

About the Author

Joseph Straubhaar is the Amon G. Carter Sr., Centennial Professor of Communication in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Jeremiah Spence is a Ph.D. candidate in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Zeynep Tufekci is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Library Science with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Roberta G. Lentz is Assistant Professor in Media and Communications in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University.


"Indeed, in terms of the research effort and the materials uncovered to examine the digital divide, this study is exemplary."--Anthony M. Orum, Loyola University, Chicago, Great Plains Quarterly "Inequity in the Technopolis is a neat exploration of economic and cultural forces at play during about a twenty-five year period in metropolitan Austin related to the technology boom of the late twentieth-century." - Kevin Romig, Texas Books in Review

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