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ResearchUrban and Regional Studies InstituteResearch projects

The Digitalization of the Countryside: sociospatial consequences of (a lack of) digitalization in rural areas

Principal researcher

Koen Salemink

Type of research



Prof. dr. Dirk Strijker

Prof. dr. Jouke van Dijk


In geography there is growing attention for the effects of (a lack of) digitalization. Many facets of life are undergoing transitions due to the growing importance of ICTs and the internet in general. Up to now, the focus in geography regarding digital inequalities and digital inclusion has been on urban contexts. The objective of this research is to gain more insights in the effects of (a lack of) digitalization in rural areas. Within the rural, digitalization affects development on different levels. In this thesis, I want to look into how digitalization affects the rural on the regional level, the local level, and the individual /group level. The research questions that I am going to use are:

1)     How does the uneven spread of ICTs and the unequal take-up by people of ICTs affect rural development?

2)     In the age of digitalization, to what extent does traditional (offline) literacy and -inclusion determine digital literacy and -inclusion?

3)     To what extent do digital literates use their social, economic and cultural capital in order to get digital illiterates included in digital society?

Last modified:03 March 2014 10.52 a.m.