Identification with online and offline communities: Understanding ICT disparities in Finland

Matti Johannes Näsi, Pekka Räsänen, Vili Lehdonvirta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Computers, mobile phones and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become a major part of the everyday life in affluent societies, yet significant socio-demographic disparities remain in their use. Young adults in particular continue to be much more active users of ICTs than the older generations. In this article we explore an approach to understand the institutional implications of ICT usage disparity: the socio-psychological significance of a technology to its users. We argue that identification mediated by technology is for many purposes at least as important of a measure as the actual quantity and quality of their use for many peer groups. Analyses of a nationally representative survey sample collected in 2009 (N = 1202) indicate that young Finns identify with online communities significantly more strongly than their elders do. Overall, however Finns identify much more with traditional offline formations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnology in Society
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • internet
  • age groups
  • online communities
  • identification experiences
  • survey

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