Non-use and use of the Internet

Project description

Investigating opportunities and risks of information and communication technologies at ITAS in a series of projects, use and non-use of the Internet has always been an issue. Analyses and insights in the development of the Internet, its services and the behaviour of users were required in many cases such as those ITAS-projects dealing with electronic retail trade in general, online book-trade in particular, the use of mobile data services, music consumption of people or download habits of scientists, and changing work patterns in the multimedia economy.

However, studying use and non-use of the Internet is a research activity in its own right independent of concrete projects as mentioned above. Research questions of interest are for example:

  • How do the patterns of use of the Internet differ with respect to social differences or different cultural environments?
  • How can we explain "drop outs" from Internet use?
  • What are the reasons for not using the Internet and how do we have to interpret these reasons and the consequences of this behaviour in the light of a vision of society in which the Internet becomes ever more important?

These questions are related to discussions about alternative patterns and paths of technology adaptation and technology diffusion. Analyses of this type are relevant when it comes to social shaping of technologies and political actions, as they can inform about the spectrum of options at the individual and social level which ought to be taken into account in decision making.


Book Chapters
Riehm, U.
Nichtnutzung des Internets - nur ein Übergangsphänomen?
2009. Gapski, H. [Hrsg.] Jenseits der digitalen Spaltung : Gründe und Motive zur Nichtnutzung von Computer und Internet Düsseldorf [u.a.] : kopaed, 2009 (Schriftenreihe Medienkompetenz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen ; Bd.9), 49–65 
Book Chapters
Krings, B. J.; Riehm, U.
Die Nutzung und Nichtnutzung des Internets. Eine kritische Reflexion der Diskussion zum ’Digital Divide’
2006. Ursua, N. [Hrsg.] Netzbasierte Kommunikation, Identität und Gemeinschaft/Net-Based Communication, Identity and Community Berlin : Trafo-Verl., 2006 (Network - Cultural Diversity and New Media ; 6), 233–51 
Journal Articles
Krings, B. J.; Riehm, U.
Internet für alle? Die Diskussion des ’digital divide’ revisited
2006. Rehberg, K.S. [Hrsg.] Soziale Ungleichheit, kulturelle Unterschiede : Verhandlungen des 32.Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, München, 4.-8.Oktober 2004 Frankfurt am Main : Campus Verl, 2006 CD-ROM 
Krings, B. J.; Riehm, U.
Meeting the resistance: non-users of the internet, drop-outs, resisters and others
2005. Technology: Between Enthusiasm and Resistance (TEER 2005), Internat.Conf., Jyväskylä, SF, May 10-11, 2005 
Krings, B.-J.; Riehm, U.
Digital Divide und seine Folgen
2004. 32. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, DGS-Sektion Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung (2004), Munich, Germany, October 4–8, 2004 
Riehm, U.; Krings, B. J.
Exklusiv oder inklusiv? Internet für alle und für alles
2004. Exklusive Technik? : Neue Technologien zwischen erweiterten Handlungsspielräumen und eingeschränktem Zugang, 4.Österreichische TA-Konf., Wien, A, 7.Juni 2004 


Dipl.-Soz. Ulrich Riehm
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe