Date of Award

Winter 5-2-2022

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Degree Name

B.A./B.S.

Department

Honors College

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Marc W. Kruman

Abstract

Introduction

The rise of Information Technology (IT) in the past 50 years has revolutionized many areas of human life and activity. Information Technology’s most obvious areas of impact are often those where they add a great and obvious value to a particular industry, and it is extremely difficult to find some aspect of life that has not changed since its inception. Some examples include the digitization of stock trading, the automation of factories and life-saving operations, and the enhanced communication and collaboration across public education, enterprise activity, and international affairs. However, what is often overlooked and understudied are the secondary and tertiary effects I.T. has on a particular aspect of human life. These can include such things as subjective feelings of inclusion, belonging, and generally having a “voice.” This research paper analyzes the effects of the rapid rise of I.T. in the city of Detroit, the disparity between I.T. in Detroit and its surrounding areas, as well as the effects this development has had on community engagement and citizenship.

This paper will attempt to establish the existence of a digital divide between Detroit and its surrounding areas, as well as highlight the severity of the divide itself by using examples of relevant geographical areas and their associated overall Internet health. Other topics to be explored in this paper will include the effects of this divide on the citizens of Detroit, such as effects on healthcare and education quality and access and its downstream effects. Correlation of key demographic markers will be discussed in an attempt to establish the reason behind this divide. Finally, remedial efforts by both local, state, and federal institutions will be explored in order to see and decipher if these efforts are sustainable, making actual change, and helping to address the problem of Internet access, quality, and availability of hardware.

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