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Browsing the Web for School: Social Inequality in Adolescents’ School-Related Use of the Internet


  • Maximilian Weber
  • Birgit Becker


This article examines whether social inequality exists in European adolescents’ school-related Internet use regarding consuming (browsing) and productive (uploading/sharing) activities. These school-related activities are contrasted with adolescents’ Internet activities for entertainment purposes. Data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 is used for the empirical analyses. Results of partial proportional odds models show that students with higher educated parents and more books at home tend to use the Internet more often for school-related tasks than their less privileged counterparts. This pattern is similar for school-related browsing and sharing Internet activities. In contrast to these findings on school-related Internet activities, a negative association between parental education and books at home is found with adolescents’ frequency of using the Internet for entertainment purposes. The implications of digital inequalities for educational inequalities are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximilian Weber & Birgit Becker, 2019. "Browsing the Web for School: Social Inequality in Adolescents’ School-Related Use of the Internet," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(2), pages 21582440198, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:sagope:v:9:y:2019:i:2:p:2158244019859955
    DOI: 10.1177/2158244019859955

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Melchor Gómez-García & Hassan Hossein-Mohand & Juan Manuel Trujillo-Torres & Hossein Hossein-Mohand & Inmaculada Aznar-Díaz, 2020. "Technological Factors That Influence the Mathematics Performance of Secondary School Students," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 8(11), pages 1-14, November.

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