Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Knowledge Gap and the Virtuous Circle hypothesis

Kristofer Jäntti blogs about the effect of media in increasing knowledge. This text is the first part of a serialised review on the Knowledge Gap. The full report will be published after the final entry of the series.


The Finnish Institute has embarked on a new programme strand dealing with the Knowledge Gap (henceforth KG). The KG is the differential distribution of knowledge between different socioeconomic groups, often defined by education level. As a result, there is a stratification between the knowledge rich and knowledge poor. This division had consequences for the quality of democratic deliberation as well as sustaining social inequities. A growing gap may increase social inequality as those who are better informed have the ability to use information (e.g. computerized databases or government leverage) not only to secure their own social position but also to prosper relative to those with less knowledge. The media is the primary medium through which people gain knowledge.