The Reporter
Issue 493, 27 October 2003
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Ethnic minorities use IT more seriously


Ethnic minorities use their home PCs for educational reasons much more than white people, new research by the Universities of Leeds and Warwick has found.

Ian Law, Tim Challis, David Wilkinson and Mohammed Hussain carried out household interviews and ran focus groups in Bradford and Leeds, looking at people’s computer use and access to computers. The study was part of wider DfES-funded research into disadvantaged neighbourhoods with findings analysed alongside those gathered in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow.

Dr Law said: “In both black and South Asian households, buying a PC was seen as essential for children’s education and work-related activities. In many households this was a widely discussed family decision. While the PC was shared, children were often given priority use to do their school work.”

Overall, the survey found that South Asians (42%) were most likely to own a PC, compared to African Caribbean (31%) or white (37%) respondents. However, South Asians were less likely to have experience of the Internet than people from other ethnic groups.

Computing knowledge didn’t differ greatly between ethnic groups, with around 63% reporting limited skills or none at all. Across all ethnic groups, computer usage and skills declined sharply with increasing age.

For more details, see the press release.


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