The participation divide: Content creation and sharing in the digital age

Eszter Hargittai*, Gina Walejko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

493 Scopus citations


This paper looks at the prevalence of creative activity and sharing in an age when the barriers to disseminating material have been considerably lowered compared with earlier times. The authors use unique data to explore the extent to which young adults create video, music, writing and artistic photography, as well as the prevalence of sharing such material online. Findings suggest that despite new opportunities to engage in such distribution of content, relatively few people are taking advantage of these recent developments. Moreover, neither creation nor sharing is randomly distributed among a diverse group of young adults. Consistent with existing literature, creative activity is related to a person's socioeconomic status as measured by parental schooling. The novel act of sharing online, however, is considerably different by gender with men much more likely to engage in it. However, once internet user skill is controlled for, men and women are equally likely to post their materials on the Web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-256
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Arts
  • Content
  • Creativity
  • Digital divide
  • Digital inequality
  • Digital literacy
  • Gender
  • Inequality
  • Internet
  • Music
  • Participation
  • Posting
  • Sharing
  • Skill
  • Users
  • Video
  • Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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