chapter  8
10 Pages

Networks of Inequity

It is imperative to recognize that networked scholarship is neither a panacea, nor a solution without its own shortcomings. In this chapter, I explore how (a) productiv e participation in networks requires an understanding of the social and digital literacies and skills essential for eff ective engagement with such networks, and yet (b) social stratifi cation and exclusion in online environments and networks is reinforced. Inequity permeates online networks in a similar way that it permeates other organizational structures. Put diff erently, even though social media may enable participation by anyone, anywhere, at any time, a number of variables moderate and mediate that participation. Thus, while Friedman (2005) argued that digital technologies might “fl atten” the world to create a more even playing fi eld, and Bonk (2009) asserted that digital technologies could democratize education, as social media platforms mature their democratizing potential and inclusive nature is increasingly called into question.