The significance of cultural capital and parental mediation for digital inequity

Allan Hoi Kau YUEN, Jae Hyung PARK, Lu CHEN, Miao Ting CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


A digital divide continues to be reported across and within nations, first as an access issue and second as an issue of effective usage. To address the latter issue, we argue that digital equity should not be conceptualized solely as a technical or resource related issue. We developed a conceptual framework based on cultural capital and parental mediation to investigate the complexity of digital inequity. Our in-depth case study of 22 Hong Kong students revealed that although information and communication technology (ICT) is thoroughly integrated with students’ everyday lives, some students lack the cultural or parenting resources required to build their capacity to effectively and meaningfully use ICT. Three salient clusters of users emerged: “celebrating” users, “coping” users, and “struggling” users. The results reveal the significance of parental mediation and cultural capital for students’ ICT use and thus digital equity. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-617
JournalNew Media & Society
Issue number2
Early online dateSep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


cultural capital
communication technology
information technology
digital divide
everyday life
Hong Kong


Yuen, A. H. K., Park, J., Chen, L., & Cheng, M. (2018). The significance of cultural capital and parental mediation for digital inequity. New Media & Society, 20(2), 599-617. doi: 10.1177/1461444816667084


  • Cultural capital
  • Digital equity
  • ICT-related parental mediation
  • ICT user types