The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 111


1 October 2006

The UK Geography of the E-Society: A National Classification

It is simplistic to think of the impacts of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in terms of a single, or even small number of, 'digital divides'. As developments in what has been termed the 'e-society' reach wider and more generalised audiences, so it becomes appropriate to think of digital media as having wider-ranging but differentiated impacts upon consumer transactions, information gathering and citizen participation.

This paper describes the development of a detailed, nationwide household classification based on levels of awareness of different ICTs; levels of use of ICTs; and their perceived impacts upon human capital formation and the quality of life. It discusses how geodemographic classification makes it possible to provide context for detailed case studies, and hence identify how policy might best improve both the quality and degree of society's access to ICTs. The primary focus of the paper is methodological, but it also illustrates how the classification may be used to investigate a range of regional and subregional policy issues. This paper illustrates the potential contribution of bespoke classifications to evidence-based policy, and the likely benefits of combining the most appropriate methods, techniques, datasets and practices that are used in the public and private sectors. This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 1015KB.

Authors: Chao Li, Paul Longley, Richard Webber

Publication Date: 1/10/2006

Download working paper No. 111.